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reply Steve Teale <steve.teale britseyeview.com> writes:
I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.
	
GPL: "Free as in Herpes" 

Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

Steve
Oct 22 2011
next sibling parent reply Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> writes:
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On Sat, 2011-10-22 at 17:56 +0000, Steve Teale wrote:
 I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.
 =09
 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"=20
=20
 Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

Not in my view. I like the GPL and especially the LGPL. --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.n= et 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel russel.org.uk London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder
Oct 22 2011
parent reply Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 10/23/2011 1:52 AM, Russel Winder wrote:
 Certainly:  That the world of dynamic linking is slightly different from
 that of static linking.

I think that line is arbitrary and doesn't really exist. For example, what does that mean when template code gets stuffed in the .h files?
Oct 23 2011
parent Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 10/23/2011 10:48 AM, Russel Winder wrote:
 Hasn't the issue of source code distribution (of templates) in C++ (and
 D?) been hashed out, it's what resulted in the Boost licence in the
 first place?

Boost doesn't solve GPL issues if the code is GPL licensed :-) But we like Boost and use it for Phobos.
Oct 23 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Steve Teale <steve.teale britseyeview.com> writes:
 	
 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"
 
 Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

Not in my view. I like the GPL and especially the LGPL.

But your leaning toward LGPL says something ;=)
Oct 22 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Mirko Pilger <pilger cymotec.de> writes:
 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"

personally i prefer bsd style licenses but the gpl has its right to exist. and while bsd ensures freedom for developers, the gpl is more targeted at users. it's a kind of politic statement and i understand the gnu project as an "user rights moverment". please let this thread not turn into another bsd vs gpl flame war.
Oct 22 2011
parent Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> writes:
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On Sat, 2011-10-22 at 21:06 +0200, Mirko Pilger wrote:
 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"

personally i prefer bsd style licenses but the gpl has its right to=20 exist. and while bsd ensures freedom for developers, the gpl is more=20 targeted at users. it's a kind of politic statement and i understand the=

 gnu project as an "user rights moverment".
=20
 please let this thread not turn into another bsd vs gpl flame war.

Agreed. However, I think your characterization of the licences is not right. All the BSD, MIT, etc. licences are about ensuring that anyone can do anything with the code. This ensures that no-one can stop people using it. GPL is about stopping organizations taking code proprietary. There is definitely a political element to this, but itn't this about not allowing volunteer effort to be exploited by organization for financial gain without returning back to the community that generated the original material. I guess the question is whether it is morally and ethically defensible for organizations to use material generated in the FOSS context for profit without some form of "pay back" as a "quid pro quo". I disagree that this is to do with developers and users, it is to do with proprietary vs. non-proprietary and the relationship between them. The Java community seem to focus on the ASL 2.0 as their preferred licence with LGPL actually being the only main option: GPL is not usable in this context. --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.n= et 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel russel.org.uk London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder
Oct 23 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> writes:
I don't like either one, because having the letters "GPL" in a license name i=
s an automatic hands-off from legal in every company I've ever worked.=20

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 22, 2011, at 11:37 AM, Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> wrote:

 On Sat, 2011-10-22 at 17:56 +0000, Steve Teale wrote:
 I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.
   =20
 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"=20
=20
 Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

=20 Not in my view. I like the GPL and especially the LGPL. =20 --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=

=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
 Dr Russel Winder      t: +44 20 7585 2200   voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.=

 41 Buckmaster Road    m: +44 7770 465 077   xmpp: russel russel.org.uk
 London SW11 1EN, UK   w: www.russel.org.uk  skype: russel_winder

Oct 22 2011
parent Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Sean Kelly Wrote:

 I don't like either one, because having the letters "GPL" in a license name is
an automatic hands-off from legal in every company I've ever worked.

That's perfect. Corporations MUST pay.
Oct 24 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Andrej Mitrovic <andrej.mitrovich gmail.com> writes:
On 10/22/11, Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> wrote:
 I don't like either one, because having the letters "GPL" in a license name
 is an automatic hands-off from legal in every company I've ever worked.

What about Qt, have any of those companies used it?
Oct 22 2011
parent Jacob Carlborg <doob me.com> writes:
On 2011-10-22 21:44, Andrej Mitrovic wrote:
 On 10/22/11, Sean Kelly<sean invisibleduck.org>  wrote:
 I don't like either one, because having the letters "GPL" in a license name
 is an automatic hands-off from legal in every company I've ever worked.

What about Qt, have any of those companies used it?

Qt is available under GPL, LGPL and commercial license. -- /Jacob Carlborg
Oct 23 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Steve Teale" <steve.teale britseyeview.com> wrote in message 
news:j7v048$1ut1$1 digitalmars.com...
 I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.

 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"

 Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

Hah! Classic :) Even ignoring the viral nature, the "hundred page wall of legalese" alone is enough to make me very, very nervous about going anywhere near it (same goes for creative commons). Not to mention the thousand different versions of [L]GPL. But I find those issues extremely frustrating, because there's two things I do like about GPL: - From what I've heard, it bans usage in the creation of closed/proprietary platforms and devices. (I've come to have a enormous seething hatred for such things. Absolutely fed up with them.) I'm sure I could make a derivative of zlib/libpng/etc. that adds such a prohibition clause, but that would kick it out of the "OSI-approved" category, and would probably create a bit of a PR problem. (Plus I imagine I'd probably need to hire a lawyer to make sure it would actually work as intended.) - Dual-licensing software under both GPL and paid-proprietary is feasable. I've never been able to think of a way to do the same with something more free like zlib/libpng/BSD/MIT/etc, and I think about that a lot. The only ways to get paid with those seems to be donations (would that ever even earn enough for a pizza? and are there any realistic options besides FraudPal *cough* I mean PayPal?) and paid support (which isn't always particularly applicable to every program; not everythng really needs much support).
Oct 22 2011
next sibling parent reply Adam D. Ruppe <destructionator gmail.com> writes:
It's the dual licensing thing I like about the GPL - you can
be about the freedom, while still keeping a money making opportunity.

I also like how it makes a stand on the freedom issue, a strong one.


The BSD license is the one I loathe and despise. It puts an annoying
restriction on you, without gaining anything for the author.

A proprietary license gets the author money. I respect that.

The GPL gives the author his philosophy. I respect that.

The Boost or zlib licenses say "whatever". I respect that.

The BSD license says "whatever... but drop my name all over the place!"

That annoys me.
Oct 22 2011
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:j7vb86$2ljc$1 digitalmars.com...
 It's the dual licensing thing I like about the GPL - you can
 be about the freedom, while still keeping a money making opportunity.

 I also like how it makes a stand on the freedom issue, a strong one.


 The BSD license is the one I loathe and despise. It puts an annoying
 restriction on you, without gaining anything for the author.

 A proprietary license gets the author money. I respect that.

 The GPL gives the author his philosophy. I respect that.

 The Boost or zlib licenses say "whatever". I respect that.

 The BSD license says "whatever... but drop my name all over the place!"

 That annoys me.

That's the *OLD* "4-clause" BSD. That clause was recinded over a decade ago, resulting in the "3-clause" which says "don't use my name" (which is kinda weird...and it's even weirder that the 4-clause apperently said *both* "drop my name all over the place" *and* "don't use my name". Seriously, WTF?). But now there's also a "2-clause" one that removes that restriction too, rendering it equivalent to MIT: http://www.opensource.org/licenses/bsd-license.php
Oct 22 2011
parent reply Adam D. Ruppe <destructionator gmail.com> writes:
Even the two clause BSD annoys me because of this:

"Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution."

It strikes me as empty vanity.
Oct 22 2011
next sibling parent "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:j7vdt1$2r48$1 digitalmars.com...
 Even the two clause BSD annoys me because of this:

 "Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
 notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
 documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution."

 It strikes me as empty vanity.

Note that (as I read it) MIT is the same way, but just implicitly so: "The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software." But I agree it's annoying, and I'm fearful of accidentally forgetting to comply. In fact that's one of the main reasons I favor zlib/libpng over BSD and MIT (the other reasons being that zlib/libpng is easier to read, and zlib/libpng has "no misrepresentation" clauses).
Oct 22 2011
prev sibling parent reply Don <nospam nospam.com> writes:
On 23.10.2011 00:28, Sean Kelly wrote:
 It's annoying as it means a pass through the documentation team for
distributed software, but whatever.  At least it's usable. Personally, my
favorite is the Boost license, and I'm just about to the point where I don't
even care about source code attribution for my own work.

Yes. I don't see why it's necessary at all. To take somebody's code and pretend that you wrote it, is plagiarism. You don't need a license to tell you that.
 On Oct 22, 2011, at 2:51 PM, "Adam D. Ruppe"<destructionator gmail.com>  wrote:

 Even the two clause BSD annoys me because of this:

 "Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
 notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
 documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution."

 It strikes me as empty vanity.


Oct 23 2011
parent Don <nospam nospam.com> writes:
On 23.10.2011 20:27, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
 On Sunday, October 23, 2011 14:26:34 Don wrote:
 On 23.10.2011 00:28, Sean Kelly wrote:
 It's annoying as it means a pass through the documentation team for
 distributed software, but whatever.  At least it's usable. Personally,
 my favorite is the Boost license, and I'm just about to the point where
 I don't even care about source code attribution for my own work.

Yes. I don't see why it's necessary at all. To take somebody's code and pretend that you wrote it, is plagiarism. You don't need a license to tell you that.

But you probably do need a license in order to protect it in court.

Maybe, but if it goes to court, you also need money! OTOH, though, with so much code in publically accessible repositories, I think it should be pretty easy to identify blatant stealing. My feeling is, that often licenses are put on code just because the author wants acknowledgement. Nothing more. It's pretty common to read: "Do whatever you like with this, just keep my name on it". Which *should* be covered by plagiarism anyway. Thus, the only reason for most licenses should be for the benefit of the user, not the author. But most of the licenses include all kinds of silly extra restrictions, possibly relevant for corporations but not for people who've just written some stuff in their spare time.
 If people
 were going to just pay attention to right and wrong with this sort of thing, a
 lot of licenses would never have been needed in the first place (some like the
 GPL might still need to exist to insist that you give back rather than simply
 not claiming that you wrote it, but many of the OSS licensing center around
 making sure that you don't claim that you wrote something that you didn't).
 Still, it's pretty sad when you think about it.

The GPL makes a lot of sense to me. It has a particular agenda, and it's trying to force users in a particular direction. But the hundreds of variations of BSD licenses seem completely unnecessary to me.
 One nice use for the names attributions though - completely beyond the legal
 ramifications - is that it makes it easier to know who wrote something so that
 you can contact them if you need to (though since it doesn't include contact
 information beyond the name, that only gets you so far).

Oct 23 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> writes:
It's annoying as it means a pass through the documentation team for distribu=
ted software, but whatever.  At least it's usable. Personally, my favorite i=
s the Boost license, and I'm just about to the point where I don't even care=
 about source code attribution for my own work.=20

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 22, 2011, at 2:51 PM, "Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> wro=
te:

 Even the two clause BSD annoys me because of this:
=20
 "Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
 notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
 documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution."
=20
 It strikes me as empty vanity.

Oct 22 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> writes:
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On Sat, 2011-10-22 at 16:55 -0400, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
[ . . . ]

I wonder if there is a problem of old uninformed opinion from ages back
becoming accepted fact due to it being promulgated as fact over and over
again?

 Even ignoring the viral nature, the "hundred page wall of legalese" alone=

 enough to make me very, very nervous about going anywhere near it (same g=

 for creative commons). Not to mention the thousand different versions of=

 [L]GPL.

I agree that the GPL is an irritatingly long document, but it is uniquely trying to do something that the other licences are not, so it is worth giving some leaway on that. There is only one GPL v3 and only one LGPL v3, there are no different versions of the (L)GPL just the official ones. People who start fiddling with "classpath variations" etc. are not using the LGPL. It funny how when it comes to licences, viral is used as a derogatory term, but when used in marketing, viral is a positive goal that everyone wants to achieve.
 But I find those issues extremely frustrating, because there's two things=

 do like about GPL:
=20
 - From what I've heard, it bans usage in the creation of closed/proprieta=

 platforms and devices. (I've come to have a enormous seething hatred for=

 such things. Absolutely fed up with them.) I'm sure I could make a=20
 derivative of zlib/libpng/etc. that adds such a prohibition clause, but t=

 would kick it out of the "OSI-approved" category, and would probably crea=

 a bit of a PR problem. (Plus I imagine I'd probably need to hire a lawyer=

 make sure it would actually work as intended.)

This is indeed one of the goals of GPL and LGPL, and since the Tivo incident prompted the creation of GPLv3, it is well handled by the language Eben Moglen et al. introduced. Of course Linux remains GPLv2 so is still open to "tivoization". This is why I like GPL and LGPL, it stop organizations stealing FOSS generated work and using it for their own gain, without any responsibility to "give back" in some way that the FOSS community finds constructive and supportive.
 - Dual-licensing software under both GPL and paid-proprietary is feasable=

 I've never been able to think of a way to do the same with something more=

 free like zlib/libpng/BSD/MIT/etc, and I think about that a lot. The only=

 ways to get paid with those seems to be donations (would that ever even e=

 enough for a pizza? and are there any realistic options besides FraudPal=

 *cough* I mean PayPal?) and paid support (which isn't always particularly=

 applicable to every program; not everythng really needs much support).

Qt has made positive gains from GPL/proprietary dual licencing by switching from GPL to LGPL. This allows use by proprietary systems of an LGPL library. Sadly PyQt fell into the pit of not switching from GPL to LGPL for their adapter from Python to the Qt libraries. Hence PySide which is LGPL. It never ceases to amaze me that "being business friendly" has become a phrase for "allows business to steal FOSS work for profit" and conned the FOSS community into thinking this is a good thing! I feel it is important to have a way for proprietary systems to use FOSS software by linking to it hence I like LGPL where GPL can be a problem. --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.n= et 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel russel.org.uk London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder
Oct 23 2011
parent Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 10/23/2011 4:11 AM, Russel Winder wrote:
 It never ceases to amaze me that "being business friendly" has become a
 phrase for "allows business to steal FOSS work for profit" and conned
 the FOSS community into thinking this is a good thing!

The Boost license for Phobos allows such use, and in no way are we Phobos contributors being conned. We're well aware of it and in fact that's one big reason why we chose Boost over GPL. People are free to take the Phobos source and do whatever they please with it, with our blessing. Hey, if Vanilla Ice "samples" it for his next rap album, we won't sue. We promise! Of course, we'd like it if they submitted back fixes and improvements, but that's up to them. (Vanilla Ice, you can keep your rap version. Thanks but no thanks!)
Oct 23 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Steve Teale <steve.teale britseyeview.com> writes:
Personally, > my favorite is the Boost license, and I'm just about to 
the point where > I don't even care about source code attribution for 
my  own work.
 

Agree with you 100%. Just put your name on the original. If they need it spelled out then maybe they'll be inclined to contribute. If not then you've just done a better job than average. But then, I'm retired, and have enough income to get by. Steve
Oct 23 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Jose Armando Garcia <jsancio gmail.com> writes:
On Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 4:11 AM, Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> wrote:
 It funny how when it comes to licences, viral is used as a derogatory
 term, but when used in marketing, viral is a positive goal that everyone
 wants to achieve.

That is because you live in a capitalist economy. I don't find it funny at all. I am always shock to hear what people are willing to do and say for the pursuit of a profit. It is even more shocking when technologist and scientist start judging technologies and innovation based on profitability. One can one do? That is the world we live in. -Jose
Oct 23 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Nick Sabalausky Wrote:

 Even ignoring the viral nature, the "hundred page wall of legalese" alone is 
 enough to make me very, very nervous about going anywhere near it (same goes 
 for creative commons). Not to mention the thousand different versions of 
 [L]GPL.

GPL is very simple: stay open source, release your code under GPL and you don't even have to read that wall.
Oct 24 2011
prev sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Sun, 23 Oct 2011 13:33:52 -0400, Walter Bright  
<newshound2 digitalmars.com> wrote:

 On 10/23/2011 4:11 AM, Russel Winder wrote:
 It never ceases to amaze me that "being business friendly" has become a
 phrase for "allows business to steal FOSS work for profit" and conned
 the FOSS community into thinking this is a good thing!


And what does GPL do, allow you to "steal FOSS work for non-profit"? I mean come on! It's not stealing if I give it away, regardless of your opinion of the recipient! Unlike users of GPL or proprietary licenses, we do not discriminate against people we want to help :)
 The Boost license for Phobos allows such use, and in no way are we  
 Phobos contributors being conned. We're well aware of it and in fact  
 that's one big reason why we chose Boost over GPL.

 People are free to take the Phobos source and do whatever they please  
 with it, with our blessing. Hey, if Vanilla Ice "samples" it for his  
 next rap album, we won't sue. We promise!

 Of course, we'd like it if they submitted back fixes and improvements,  
 but that's up to them. (Vanilla Ice, you can keep your rap version.  
 Thanks but no thanks!)

Wow, how 1990s of you to bring that up :) -Steve
Oct 24 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> writes:
Dunno. I've never needed anything like it.=20

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 22, 2011, at 12:44 PM, Andrej Mitrovic <andrej.mitrovich gmail.com> w=
rote:

 On 10/22/11, Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> wrote:
 I don't like either one, because having the letters "GPL" in a license na=


 is an automatic hands-off from legal in every company I've ever worked.

What about Qt, have any of those companies used it?

Oct 22 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Jonathan M Davis <jmdavisProg gmx.com> writes:
On Saturday, October 22, 2011 21:44:54 Andrej Mitrovic wrote:
 On 10/22/11, Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> wrote:
 I don't like either one, because having the letters "GPL" in a license
 name is an automatic hands-off from legal in every company I've ever
 worked.


If a company is going to use Qt, then they pay for the commercial license and it's not an issue. - Jonathan M Davis
Oct 22 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Steve Teale" <steve.teale britseyeview.com> wrote in message 
news:j7v048$1ut1$1 digitalmars.com...
 I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.

 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"

 Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

Indeed, I have always thought of GPL'd code similarly (think leprosy). I don't want to touch it, see it, or get near it and I don't want to be around other people who have either, for I don't want my pristine, virgin code to become infected. Maybe someday there will be a cure for GPL and those who have been exposed/infected can then be free of the taint put upon them.
Oct 22 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> writes:
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On Sat, 2011-10-22 at 19:02 +0000, Steve Teale wrote:
 =09
 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"
=20
 Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

=20 Not in my view. I like the GPL and especially the LGPL.

But your leaning toward LGPL says something ;=3D)

Certainly: That the world of dynamic linking is slightly different from that of static linking. --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.n= et 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel russel.org.uk London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder
Oct 23 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> writes:
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On Sat, 2011-10-22 at 12:29 -0700, Sean Kelly wrote:
 I don't like either one, because having the letters "GPL" in a license na=

=20 I think this may be right pragmatically, but is it simply that lawyers for these companies have a knee-jerk reaction of panic whenever the GPL is mentioned. There are clearly situations and uses for which GPL code simply cannot be used in an organization creating proprietary code, but to have a blanket statement of "no GPL code" is actually to cut the organization off from a huge resource that can be used to generate profit and still play fair with the FOSS community. Having written the previous email and the above, it occurs to me that we should stop seeing this as a FOSS vs proprietary war where one must win at the expense of the other, and ask the question how can both be nice to each other so that proprietary makes money and they and FOSS interwork together appropriately. Clearly Microsoft will not be involved in this collaborative atmosphere, given their historical statements, but they should not be seen as thought leaders here. --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.n= et 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel russel.org.uk London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder
Oct 23 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> writes:
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

On Sun, 2011-10-23 at 10:36 -0700, Walter Bright wrote:
 On 10/23/2011 1:52 AM, Russel Winder wrote:
 Certainly:  That the world of dynamic linking is slightly different fro=


 that of static linking.

I think that line is arbitrary and doesn't really exist. For example, wha=

 that mean when template code gets stuffed in the .h files?

The line may be arbitrary but it does exists, witness the fact that you responded to it and is can still be found on the servers :-) I was focusing the notion of dynamic binding as in Python, Java, etc. which is generally where all the perceived problems are regarding LGPL. Hasn't the issue of source code distribution (of templates) in C++ (and D?) been hashed out, it's what resulted in the Boost licence in the first place? --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.n= et 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel russel.org.uk London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder
Oct 23 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Jonathan M Davis <jmdavisProg gmx.com> writes:
On Sunday, October 23, 2011 11:06:26 Jose Armando Garcia wrote:
 On Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 4:11 AM, Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> wrote:
 It funny how when it comes to licences, viral is used as a derogatory
 term, but when used in marketing, viral is a positive goal that everyone
 wants to achieve.

That is because you live in a capitalist economy. I don't find it funny at all. I am always shock to hear what people are willing to do and say for the pursuit of a profit. It is even more shocking when technologist and scientist start judging technologies and innovation based on profitability. One can one do? That is the world we live in.

LOL. I don't think that it has anything to do with a capitalist anything. It's going purely by the definition of viral. In the case of the GPL, because it's viral, it affects everything that it comes into contact wtih. It "infects" any code that you use it with. Many view the fact that the GPL does this as negative. In the case of the market campaign, the message is passed onto everyone that it comes into contact with, so the message becomes very widespread. This is obviously something that advertisers view as positive. In both cases, the term viral refers to how it spreads, not whether it's negative or positive. It's just that in the one case, having it spread like that is viewed as negative by some, and in the other it's viewed as positive. The word is used in essentially the same way in both cases meaning the same thing, and it in itself does not make that particular case either good or bad. - Jonthan M Davis
Oct 23 2011
parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Jonathan M Davis" <jmdavisProg gmx.com> wrote in message 
news:mailman.350.1319394157.24802.digitalmars-d puremagic.com...
 On Sunday, October 23, 2011 11:06:26 Jose Armando Garcia wrote:
 On Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 4:11 AM, Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> 
 wrote:
 It funny how when it comes to licences, viral is used as a 
 derogatory
 term, but when used in marketing, viral is a positive goal that 
 everyone
 wants to achieve.

That is because you live in a capitalist economy. I don't find it funny at all. I am always shock to hear what people are willing to do and say for the pursuit of a profit. It is even more shocking when technologist and scientist start judging technologies and innovation based on profitability. One can one do? That is the world we live in.

LOL. I don't think that it has anything to do with a capitalist anything. It's going purely by the definition of viral. In the case of the GPL, because it's viral, it affects everything that it comes into contact wtih.

Not just everyTHING, but also "infects" everyONE who "comes in contact with it". Of course one can say the same for programmers who have worked for a software company. The risk of having foreign code that is patented or viral creeping into a pristine codebase isn't worth the risk (IMO) of hiring "tainted" programmers. Young programmers/programmer-wannabes need to consider this before signing-on to get that paycheck. Once "tainted", they most likely will never be able to become "untainted" (there are cures, but they are very unlikely to be enacted).
 It "infects" any
 code that you use it with. Many view the fact that the GPL does this as
 negative. In the case of the market campaign, the message is passed 
 onto
 everyone that it comes into contact with, so the message becomes very
 widespread. This is obviously something that advertisers view as 
 positive. In
 both cases, the term viral refers to how it spreads, not whether it's 
 negative
 or positive. It's just that in the one case, having it spread like that 
 is
 viewed as negative by some, and in the other it's viewed as positive. 
 The word
 is used in essentially the same way in both cases meaning the same 
 thing, and
 it in itself does not make that particular case either good or bad.

Oct 23 2011
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> wrote in message 
news:j81ur0$1oij$1 digitalmars.com...
 "Jonathan M Davis" <jmdavisProg gmx.com> wrote in message 
 news:mailman.350.1319394157.24802.digitalmars-d puremagic.com...
 LOL. I don't think that it has anything to do with a capitalist anything. 
 It's
 going purely by the definition of viral. In the case of the GPL, because 
 it's
 viral, it affects everything that it comes into contact wtih.

Not just everyTHING, but also "infects" everyONE who "comes in contact with it". Of course one can say the same for programmers who have worked for a software company. The risk of having foreign code that is patented or viral creeping into a pristine codebase isn't worth the risk (IMO) of hiring "tainted" programmers.

Meh, thanks to the corrupt USPTO, all code is covered by one patent or another...programmer taint or not.
 Young programmers/programmer-wannabes need to consider this before 
 signing-on to get that paycheck. Once "tainted", they most likely will 
 never be able to become "untainted" (there are cures, but they are very 
 unlikely to be enacted).

Oct 23 2011
parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> wrote in message 
news:j81vad$1pl0$1 digitalmars.com...
 "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> wrote in message 
 news:j81ur0$1oij$1 digitalmars.com...
 "Jonathan M Davis" <jmdavisProg gmx.com> wrote in message 
 news:mailman.350.1319394157.24802.digitalmars-d puremagic.com...
 LOL. I don't think that it has anything to do with a capitalist 
 anything. It's
 going purely by the definition of viral. In the case of the GPL, 
 because it's
 viral, it affects everything that it comes into contact wtih.

Not just everyTHING, but also "infects" everyONE who "comes in contact with it". Of course one can say the same for programmers who have worked for a software company. The risk of having foreign code that is patented or viral creeping into a pristine codebase isn't worth the risk (IMO) of hiring "tainted" programmers.

Meh, thanks to the corrupt USPTO, all code is covered by one patent or another...programmer taint or not.

While I haven't thought it through (and maybe don't have the knowledge to do so), elimination of software patents was something I had in mind as a potential cure for the current state of affairs (not a cure for viral source code though). Of course, noting that first-to-file is now the thing, it appears (to me) that Big Software Corp and Big Government are on one side, humanity on the other.
 Young programmers/programmer-wannabes need to consider this before 
 signing-on to get that paycheck. Once "tainted", they most likely will 
 never be able to become "untainted" (there are cures, but they are 
 very unlikely to be enacted).


Oct 23 2011
parent reply Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Chante Wrote:

 While I haven't thought it through (and maybe don't have the knowledge to 
 do so), elimination of software patents was something I had in mind as a 
 potential cure for the current state of affairs (not a cure for viral 
 source code though). Of course, noting that first-to-file is now the 
 thing, it appears (to me) that Big Software Corp and Big Government are 
 on one side, humanity on the other.

Patents are seen to exist for humanity. Elimination of patents is equivalent to elimination of intellectual property. You're not going to succeed on that. But GPL3 at least protects you from patent claims from the author, so you'd better use it. You're afraid of others, but GPL can also protect *your* code.
Oct 24 2011
next sibling parent reply Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
 You're afraid of others, but GPL can also protect *your* code.

Most notably GPL protects the rights of your users. Are you thinking about your users?
Oct 24 2011
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Kagamin" <spam here.lot> wrote in message 
news:j83tie$abu$1 digitalmars.com...
 You're afraid of others, but GPL can also protect *your* code.

Most notably GPL protects the rights of your users. Are you thinking about your users?

That's just backwards, GPL *limits* user rights. For instance, the right to license my software however I damn well choose. The right to feel safe about using a piece of software *without* hiring an expensive lawyer to wade through the ten pounds of legalese bullshit. There's a lot of things I *strongly* agree with Stallman on, but his reasoning on the GPL is just a complete load of crap.
Oct 24 2011
next sibling parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> wrote in message 
news:j84kee$1vk5$1 digitalmars.com...
 "Kagamin" <spam here.lot> wrote in message 
 news:j83tie$abu$1 digitalmars.com...
 You're afraid of others, but GPL can also protect *your* code.

Most notably GPL protects the rights of your users. Are you thinking about your users?

That's just backwards, GPL *limits* user rights. For instance, the right to license my software however I damn well choose. The right to feel safe about using a piece of software *without* hiring an expensive lawyer to wade through the ten pounds of legalese bullshit. There's a lot of things I *strongly* agree with Stallman on, but his reasoning on the GPL is just a complete load of crap.

He may be one of these "things": http://www.aspeneducation.com/article-entitlement.html The number of people wanting something for nothing is astounding. I don't like those people.
Oct 24 2011
prev sibling parent reply Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Nick Sabalausky Wrote:

 "Kagamin" <spam here.lot> wrote in message 
 news:j83tie$abu$1 digitalmars.com...
 You're afraid of others, but GPL can also protect *your* code.

Most notably GPL protects the rights of your users. Are you thinking about your users?

That's just backwards, GPL *limits* user rights. For instance, the right to license my software however I damn well choose.

Licenses like boost exist to allow corporations to make money on free code while restricting users. Of course GPL prohibits this.
Oct 25 2011
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Kagamin" <spam here.lot> wrote in message 
news:j8819j$667$1 digitalmars.com...
 Nick Sabalausky Wrote:

 "Kagamin" <spam here.lot> wrote in message
 news:j83tie$abu$1 digitalmars.com...
 You're afraid of others, but GPL can also protect *your* code.

Most notably GPL protects the rights of your users. Are you thinking about your users?

That's just backwards, GPL *limits* user rights. For instance, the right to license my software however I damn well choose.

Licenses like boost exist to allow corporations to make money on free code while restricting users. Of course GPL prohibits this.

It's free code. The whole point is to let people go ahead and use it.
Oct 25 2011
parent reply Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Nick Sabalausky Wrote:

 Licenses like boost exist to allow corporations to make money on free code 
 while restricting users. Of course GPL prohibits this.

It's free code. The whole point is to let people go ahead and use it.

Anyone can use GPL, it has no problem with it.
Oct 25 2011
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Kagamin" <spam here.lot> wrote in message 
news:j884ui$cra$1 digitalmars.com...
 Nick Sabalausky Wrote:

 Licenses like boost exist to allow corporations to make money on free 
 code
 while restricting users. Of course GPL prohibits this.

It's free code. The whole point is to let people go ahead and use it.

Anyone can use GPL, it has no problem with it.

I think you misunderstood my point. What I was trying to say is: If someone's going to worry about others profiting from their free code, why'd they even make it free in the first place?
Oct 25 2011
next sibling parent Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Nick Sabalausky Wrote:

 I think you misunderstood my point. What I was trying to say is: If 
 someone's going to worry about others profiting from their free code, why'd 
 they even make it free in the first place?

Maybe they're commies. Ask Stallman.
Oct 26 2011
prev sibling parent reply Timon Gehr <timon.gehr gmx.ch> writes:
On 10/26/2011 07:32 AM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 "Kagamin"<spam here.lot>  wrote in message
 news:j884ui$cra$1 digitalmars.com...
 Nick Sabalausky Wrote:

 Licenses like boost exist to allow corporations to make money on free
 code
 while restricting users. Of course GPL prohibits this.

It's free code. The whole point is to let people go ahead and use it.

Anyone can use GPL, it has no problem with it.

I think you misunderstood my point. What I was trying to say is: If someone's going to worry about others profiting from their free code, why'd they even make it free in the first place?

Free software is not software that is gratis. It is software that respects the freedom of its end users. The problem is not that others profit from the software. That is okay. The problem is that proprietary developers may make the end users dependent on their own proprietary/non-free version, at which point the end users lose control about their computing. The GPL prohibits that.
Oct 26 2011
parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Timon Gehr" <timon.gehr gmx.ch> wrote in message 
news:j88jq8$1brb$1 digitalmars.com...

[Free software] is software that respects the freedom of its end users.

Software is inanimate and non-human and cannot "respect" anything. The mire of propaganda that spews from "entitled" GPL fanboys is astounding.
Oct 26 2011
next sibling parent reply Timon Gehr <timon.gehr gmx.ch> writes:
On 10/26/2011 10:36 PM, Chante wrote:
 "Timon Gehr"<timon.gehr gmx.ch>  wrote in message
 news:j88jq8$1brb$1 digitalmars.com...

 [Free software] is software that respects the freedom of its end users.

Software is inanimate and non-human and cannot "respect" anything. The mire of propaganda that spews from "entitled" GPL fanboys is astounding.

Right, the developers respect the freedom of the end users of their program. Let that be the definition of software who respects the freedom of its end users and we are fine. But that is just nitpicking in lack of a better argument. (and the implied personal attack cannot make up for it.)
Oct 26 2011
parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Timon Gehr" <timon.gehr gmx.ch> wrote in message 
news:j89unt$14up$1 digitalmars.com...
 On 10/26/2011 10:36 PM, Chante wrote:
 "Timon Gehr"<timon.gehr gmx.ch>  wrote in message
 news:j88jq8$1brb$1 digitalmars.com...

 [Free software] is software that respects the freedom of its end 
 users.

Software is inanimate and non-human and cannot "respect" anything. The mire of propaganda that spews from "entitled" GPL fanboys is astounding.

Right, the developers respect the freedom of the end users of their program.

At the expense of the developer. The "end user" thing is just a ruse anyway. "Entitled" GPLers just want something for nothing.
 Let that be the definition of software who respects the freedom of its 
 end users and we are fine.

 But that is just nitpicking in lack of a better argument. (and the 
 implied personal attack cannot make up for it.)

The obvious argument, obvious to even the casual observer (given the length of this thread already), given above. Now, you were saying?
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Russel Winder" <russel russel.org.uk> wrote in message 
news:mailman.528.1319696286.24802.digitalmars-d puremagic.com...
 Chante wrote:
 "Timon Gehr" <timon.gehr gmx.ch> wrote in message=20
 news:j88jq8$1brb$1 digitalmars.com...
=20
[Free software] is software that respects the freedom of its end 
users.

Software is inanimate and non-human and cannot "respect" anything. The=

 mire of propaganda that spews from "entitled" GPL fanboys is 
 astounding.

If you want to make a case against using the GPL for software let it be
done with civil argument, not off-hand disparaging hate mail.

It's hardly an inappropriate categorization of the typical "zealot", "fanboy", GPLer. C'mon, call a spade a spade. No hate needed. It's a common observation.
Oct 27 2011
parent Timon Gehr <timon.gehr gmx.ch> writes:
On 10/27/2011 09:53 PM, Chante wrote:
 "Russel Winder"<russel russel.org.uk>  wrote in message
 news:mailman.528.1319696286.24802.digitalmars-d puremagic.com...
 Chante wrote:
 "Timon Gehr"<timon.gehr gmx.ch>  wrote in message=20
 news:j88jq8$1brb$1 digitalmars.com...
 =20
 [Free software] is software that respects the freedom of its end
 users.

Software is inanimate and non-human and cannot "respect" anything. The=

 mire of propaganda that spews from "entitled" GPL fanboys is
 astounding.

 If you want to make a case against using the GPL for software let it be
 done with civil argument, not off-hand disparaging hate mail.

It's hardly an inappropriate categorization of the typical "zealot", "fanboy", GPLer. C'mon, call a spade a spade. No hate needed. It's a common observation.

Don't feed the troll.
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Kagamin" <spam here.lot> wrote in message 
news:j83tbq$a12$1 digitalmars.com...
 Chante Wrote:

 While I haven't thought it through (and maybe don't have the knowledge 
 to
 do so), elimination of software patents was something I had in mind as 
 a
 potential cure for the current state of affairs (not a cure for viral
 source code though). Of course, noting that first-to-file is now the
 thing, it appears (to me) that Big Software Corp and Big Government 
 are
 on one side, humanity on the other.

Patents are seen to exist for humanity.

With "first-to-file", it seems that "humanity" has either been sold-out, or raped (or both).
 Elimination of patents is equivalent to elimination of intellectual 
 property.

Simply keep it a secret ("trade secret"). First-to-file allows Big Softare Corp to claim rights to things which they have no proprietary right to. But I'm not read-up on this stuff, I'm just spouting feelings. My feelings are that I've been sold-out, betrayed, raped (but I won't know for sure if those feelings are correct until I figure this stuff out).
 You're not going to succeed on that. But GPL3 at least protects you 
 from patent claims from the author, so you'd better use it. You're 
 afraid of others, but GPL can also protect *your* code. 

Oct 24 2011
prev sibling parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:op.v3u2chz6eav7ka localhost.localdomain...
 On Mon, 24 Oct 2011 10:39:54 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Chante Wrote:

 While I haven't thought it through (and maybe don't have the 
 knowledge  to
 do so), elimination of software patents was something I had in mind 
 as a
 potential cure for the current state of affairs (not a cure for viral
 source code though). Of course, noting that first-to-file is now the
 thing, it appears (to me) that Big Software Corp and Big Government 
 are
 on one side, humanity on the other.

Patents are seen to exist for humanity. Elimination of patents is equivalent to elimination of intellectual property. You're not going to succeed on that. But GPL3 at least protects you from patent claims from the author, so you'd better use it. You're afraid of others, but GPL can also protect *your* code.

Patents are to foster innovation. Software innovation needs no patent system to foster it. Nobody writes a piece of software because they were able to get a patent for it. I feel software patents are a completely different entity than material patents. For several reasons: 1. Software is already well-covered by copyright.

Software, though, is not like a book: it's not just text. There is inherent design, architecture, engineering represented by source code.
 2. With few exceptions, the lifetime of utility of a piece of software 
 is  well below the lifetime of a patent (currently 17 years).
 3. It is a very slippery slope to go down.  Software is a purely 
 *abstract* thing, it's not a machine.

Maybe literally "abstract", but those flow charts, layers, boxes-and-arrows actually become realized (rendered, if you will) by the source code. The text really isn't important. The "abstraction" is.
 It can be produced en mass with  near-zero cost.  It can be expressed 
 via source code, which is *not* a  piece of software.  There is a very 
 good reason things like music, art,  and written works are not 
 patentable.

Music and art don't "do" anything except titilate the senses. Software, OTOH, does do things of practical utility.
Oct 24 2011
parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:op.v3ylgbgaeav7ka localhost.localdomain...
 On Tue, 25 Oct 2011 00:04:18 -0400, Chante <udontspamme never.will.u> 
 wrote:

 "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message
 news:op.v3u2chz6eav7ka localhost.localdomain...
 On Mon, 24 Oct 2011 10:39:54 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Chante Wrote:

 While I haven't thought it through (and maybe don't have the
 knowledge  to
 do so), elimination of software patents was something I had in mind
 as a
 potential cure for the current state of affairs (not a cure for 
 viral
 source code though). Of course, noting that first-to-file is now 
 the
 thing, it appears (to me) that Big Software Corp and Big Government
 are
 on one side, humanity on the other.

Patents are seen to exist for humanity. Elimination of patents is equivalent to elimination of intellectual property. You're not going to succeed on that. But GPL3 at least protects you from patent claims from the author, so you'd better use it. You're afraid of others, but GPL can also protect *your* code.

Patents are to foster innovation. Software innovation needs no patent system to foster it. Nobody writes a piece of software because they were able to get a patent for it. I feel software patents are a completely different entity than material patents. For several reasons: 1. Software is already well-covered by copyright.

Software, though, is not like a book: it's not just text. There is inherent design, architecture, engineering represented by source code.

Books require design, sometimes elaborate design, and engineering of sorts. What an author puts into writing a book is not unlike what an entity puts into writing software.

With a book, the text is the end product. With software, the source code is an intermediate representation, or production machine rather than the end product. Source code is like a printing press for a specific book. It is not like the book. (These analogies are presented more for analysis, rather than in direct or opposing response).
 2. With few exceptions, the lifetime of utility of a piece of 
 software
 is  well below the lifetime of a patent (currently 17 years).
 3. It is a very slippery slope to go down.  Software is a purely
 *abstract* thing, it's not a machine.

Maybe literally "abstract", but those flow charts, layers, boxes-and-arrows actually become realized (rendered, if you will) by the source code. The text really isn't important. The "abstraction" is.

Software is not unlike math.

I disagree. While one can use software to perform math, that does not make software "like math".
 It achieves something based on an abstract  concept of the world.  It 
 has practical uses.

That is too vague/general. Lacks the required amount of substance to be useful.
 But math is not patentable.

Given that I don't accept your stance that "software is like math", that is then irrelevant.
 It can be produced en mass with  near-zero cost.  It can be expressed
 via source code, which is *not* a  piece of software.  There is a 
 very
 good reason things like music, art,  and written works are not
 patentable.

Music and art don't "do" anything except titilate the senses. Software, OTOH, does do things of practical utility.

Music and art are both different from software and the same. They are different because there are no rules for creating valid music or art. I could bang on the wall randomly with a pipe, and try to sell that as music (and ironically, I might succeed). But they are the same because writing music and creating art that *is good* is a difficult thing that requires careful thought, planning, and execution.

Too vague and non-substantive to be used in support of any position on the issue of software patents.
Oct 26 2011
parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:op.v3zaqsfzeav7ka localhost.localdomain...
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 16:55:34 -0400, Chante <udontspamme never.will.u> 
 wrote:

 "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message
 news:op.v3ylgbgaeav7ka localhost.localdomain...
 On Tue, 25 Oct 2011 00:04:18 -0400, Chante <udontspamme never.will.u>
 wrote:

 "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message
 news:op.v3u2chz6eav7ka localhost.localdomain...
 On Mon, 24 Oct 2011 10:39:54 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Chante Wrote:

 While I haven't thought it through (and maybe don't have the
 knowledge  to
 do so), elimination of software patents was something I had in 
 mind
 as a
 potential cure for the current state of affairs (not a cure for
 viral
 source code though). Of course, noting that first-to-file is now
 the
 thing, it appears (to me) that Big Software Corp and Big 
 Government
 are
 on one side, humanity on the other.

Patents are seen to exist for humanity. Elimination of patents is equivalent to elimination of intellectual property. You're not going to succeed on that. But GPL3 at least protects you from patent claims from the author, so you'd better use it. You're afraid of others, but GPL can also protect *your* code.

Patents are to foster innovation. Software innovation needs no patent system to foster it. Nobody writes a piece of software because they were able to get a patent for it. I feel software patents are a completely different entity than material patents. For several reasons: 1. Software is already well-covered by copyright.

Software, though, is not like a book: it's not just text. There is inherent design, architecture, engineering represented by source code.

Books require design, sometimes elaborate design, and engineering of sorts. What an author puts into writing a book is not unlike what an entity puts into writing software.

With a book, the text is the end product. With software, the source code is an intermediate representation, or production machine rather than the end product. Source code is like a printing press for a specific book. It is not like the book. (These analogies are presented more for analysis, rather than in direct or opposing response).

compiled software

(you meant, "source code")
 is copyrighted, it's a derivative translation of the  original source 
 code. When speaking of copyrighted software, the binary  code and the 
 source used to build it are one and the same.

OK, but what if the "source code" is only graphical on the computer display, and the internal binary representation (not text) is then compiled? Obviously, the design of the software are the graphical diagrams on the computer screen for they are what the programmer understands.
 2. With few exceptions, the lifetime of utility of a piece of
 software
 is  well below the lifetime of a patent (currently 17 years).
 3. It is a very slippery slope to go down.  Software is a purely
 *abstract* thing, it's not a machine.

Maybe literally "abstract", but those flow charts, layers, boxes-and-arrows actually become realized (rendered, if you will) by the source code. The text really isn't important. The "abstraction" is.

Software is not unlike math.

I disagree. While one can use software to perform math, that does not make software "like math".

Then the rest of this argument is moot, and I respectfully will end debate so as to not waste any more of our time.

Yes, a debate cannot be had that starts out "God created all things, therefore God exists". That is a classic/cliche tactic.
Oct 27 2011
parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 On Thu, 27 Oct 2011 16:02:03 -0400, Chante <udontspamme never.will.u>
 wrote:

 "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote
 compiled software

(you meant, "source code")

OK, let's try this again. Source code is copyrightable. Compiled code *IS ALSO* copyrighted due to it being a direct translation of the source code that is copyrighted. Any way you take source code and make some other form of media-based data out of it is copyrighted. We can keep going around in this circle if you wish. This might help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_copyright

Yes, it did. See, I did not know this: "copyright for computer programs prohibits not only literal copying, but also copying of "nonliteral elements", such as program structure and design." When people (and you, not that you're not a people, hehe) would say "copyright", my mind would think "literal text" (like a book's text). While that has given me a much greater understanding that copyright does afford more protection than I thought, it's still not enough for the most important things, I think: the proprietary technologies upon which the software is built. It would seem that the technologies are free game to be used by anyone cognizant of them, under copyright, as long as they use them in a different way, say in a program with completely different functionality but still using the technology. For instance, pretend that Unicode had not yet been created and that instead, a software company released a word processing program based upon UnicodeTM, a proprietary technology. Copyright would allow all to use UnicodeTM in programs that were not word processors. Patent would disallow this and the company could then capitalize on UnicodeTM in other products.
Oct 28 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Jonathan M Davis <jmdavisProg gmx.com> writes:
On Sunday, October 23, 2011 14:26:34 Don wrote:
 On 23.10.2011 00:28, Sean Kelly wrote:
 It's annoying as it means a pass through the documentation team for
 distributed software, but whatever.  At least it's usable. Personally,
 my favorite is the Boost license, and I'm just about to the point where
 I don't even care about source code attribution for my own work.

Yes. I don't see why it's necessary at all. To take somebody's code and pretend that you wrote it, is plagiarism. You don't need a license to tell you that.

But you probably do need a license in order to protect it in court. If people were going to just pay attention to right and wrong with this sort of thing, a lot of licenses would never have been needed in the first place (some like the GPL might still need to exist to insist that you give back rather than simply not claiming that you wrote it, but many of the OSS licensing center around making sure that you don't claim that you wrote something that you didn't). Still, it's pretty sad when you think about it. One nice use for the names attributions though - completely beyond the legal ramifications - is that it makes it easier to know who wrote something so that you can contact them if you need to (though since it doesn't include contact information beyond the name, that only gets you so far). - Jonathan M Davis
Oct 23 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Jeff Nowakowski <jeff dilacero.org> writes:
On 10/22/2011 01:56 PM, Steve Teale wrote:
 I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.
 	
 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"

 Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

No, it doesn't. It's pure flamebait. Nobody wants to get herpes and it serves no useful purpose. On the other hand, many people happily use GPL software and like the fact that the source is available and will remain available with further distributions. If you don't like GPL then don't use it. It's not hidden and going to infect you without your consent.
Oct 23 2011
next sibling parent "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Jeff Nowakowski" <jeff dilacero.org> wrote in message 
news:j81rap$1f50$1 digitalmars.com...
 On 10/22/2011 01:56 PM, Steve Teale wrote:
 I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.

 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"

 Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

No, it doesn't. It's pure flamebait.

It's hilarious flamebait :)
Oct 23 2011
prev sibling parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Jeff Nowakowski" <jeff dilacero.org> wrote in message 
news:j81rap$1f50$1 digitalmars.com...
 On 10/22/2011 01:56 PM, Steve Teale wrote:
 I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.

 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"

 Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

No, it doesn't. It's pure flamebait. Nobody wants to get herpes and it serves no useful purpose. On the other hand, many people happily use GPL software and like the fact that the source is available and will remain available with further distributions. If you don't like GPL then don't use it. It's not hidden and going to infect you without your consent.

It is "subtle": a programmer exposed to the viral source code (or some software company's source code) becomes "tainted" from that exposure. Most programmers, unfortunately, do not consider this. It is especially "evil" in the case of viralware because a youngster at home just wanting to learn programming or build some software will download the viral code and become "tainted" at an early age (way before he/she is able to make decisions concerning his/her future and what is best for them). It's like marketing cigarettes to youngsters!
Oct 23 2011
next sibling parent reply Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com> writes:
Am 23.10.2011 22:59, schrieb Chante:
 "Jeff Nowakowski" <jeff dilacero.org> wrote in message 
 news:j81rap$1f50$1 digitalmars.com...
 On 10/22/2011 01:56 PM, Steve Teale wrote:
 I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.

 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"

 Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

No, it doesn't. It's pure flamebait. Nobody wants to get herpes and it serves no useful purpose. On the other hand, many people happily use GPL software and like the fact that the source is available and will remain available with further distributions. If you don't like GPL then don't use it. It's not hidden and going to infect you without your consent.

It is "subtle": a programmer exposed to the viral source code (or some software company's source code) becomes "tainted" from that exposure. Most programmers, unfortunately, do not consider this. It is especially "evil" in the case of viralware because a youngster at home just wanting to learn programming or build some software will download the viral code and become "tainted" at an early age (way before he/she is able to make decisions concerning his/her future and what is best for them). It's like marketing cigarettes to youngsters!

This is like claiming anyone who ever worked with proprietary code can never again work at another company because he is tainted.
Oct 23 2011
parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Daniel Gibson" <metalcaedes gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:j81ve0$7jf$1 digitalmars.com...
 Am 23.10.2011 22:59, schrieb Chante:
 "Jeff Nowakowski" <jeff dilacero.org> wrote in message
 news:j81rap$1f50$1 digitalmars.com...
 On 10/22/2011 01:56 PM, Steve Teale wrote:
 I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.

 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"

 Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

No, it doesn't. It's pure flamebait. Nobody wants to get herpes and it serves no useful purpose. On the other hand, many people happily use GPL software and like the fact that the source is available and will remain available with further distributions. If you don't like GPL then don't use it. It's not hidden and going to infect you without your consent.

It is "subtle": a programmer exposed to the viral source code (or some software company's source code) becomes "tainted" from that exposure. Most programmers, unfortunately, do not consider this. It is especially "evil" in the case of viralware because a youngster at home just wanting to learn programming or build some software will download the viral code and become "tainted" at an early age (way before he/she is able to make decisions concerning his/her future and what is best for them). It's like marketing cigarettes to youngsters!

This is like claiming anyone who ever worked with proprietary code can never again work at another company because he is tainted.

It is to be considered. Or should be, but most people don't think very deeply about anything and rather "just go with the flow" ("sheeple"?). Virginity is sometimes a requirement. It may be wise to value that to keep the possibilities open. It's not "black or white", of course. There are varying degrees of "baggage" ("taint") one has. If all a programmer has known is viral source projects, he/she probably knows too many (or only) viral source code passages and can't program effectively otherwise. Surely too big a risk for pristine source code (again, IMO). Before one starts to learn programming, they should think about where they want to go with that in the future, for unwise choices early on can hamper (or worse) the possibilities. Caveat emptor.
Oct 23 2011
parent reply Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com> writes:
Am 23.10.2011 23:28, schrieb Chante:
 "Daniel Gibson" <metalcaedes gmail.com> wrote in message 
 news:j81ve0$7jf$1 digitalmars.com...
 Am 23.10.2011 22:59, schrieb Chante:
 "Jeff Nowakowski" <jeff dilacero.org> wrote in message
 news:j81rap$1f50$1 digitalmars.com...
 On 10/22/2011 01:56 PM, Steve Teale wrote:
 I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.

 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"

 Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

No, it doesn't. It's pure flamebait. Nobody wants to get herpes and it serves no useful purpose. On the other hand, many people happily use GPL software and like the fact that the source is available and will remain available with further distributions. If you don't like GPL then don't use it. It's not hidden and going to infect you without your consent.

It is "subtle": a programmer exposed to the viral source code (or some software company's source code) becomes "tainted" from that exposure. Most programmers, unfortunately, do not consider this. It is especially "evil" in the case of viralware because a youngster at home just wanting to learn programming or build some software will download the viral code and become "tainted" at an early age (way before he/she is able to make decisions concerning his/her future and what is best for them). It's like marketing cigarettes to youngsters!

This is like claiming anyone who ever worked with proprietary code can never again work at another company because he is tainted.

It is to be considered. Or should be, but most people don't think very deeply about anything and rather "just go with the flow" ("sheeple"?). Virginity is sometimes a requirement. It may be wise to value that to keep the possibilities open.

I've never read a job description that said "we want a programmer that has no job experience and has not touched GPL code either". In the contrary, prior job experience (which mostly implies having touched proprietary code) is often required or at least helpful, and having worked with open source code (GPL or whatever) usually is a bonus. Often having experience with Linux and other GPL'ed software from the Linux environment is even required - many companies use Linux and related software + their own proprietary stuff, so you end up modifying GPL'ed code so it works with your product and thus have to touch it.
 It's not "black or white", of course. There are varying degrees of 
 "baggage" ("taint") one has. If all a programmer has known is viral 
 source projects, he/she probably knows too many (or only) viral source 
 code passages and can't program effectively otherwise. Surely too big a 
 risk for pristine source code (again, IMO). Before one starts to learn 
 programming, they should think about where they want to go with that in 
 the future, for unwise choices early on can hamper (or worse) the 
 possibilities. Caveat emptor. 
 

I think this (don't look at GPL- or otherwise "viral" code if you want to become a professional programmer) is groundless fearmongering. Sounds like FUD directly from Microsofts worst marketers. But I'd be interested in the opinions of other people in this newsgroup who earn money with software development (or have done so in the past): Have you ever experienced exposure to GPL'ed or proprietary software as a hindrance for a job? Is the opposite true - Open Source commitment (GPL or otherwise) is a bonus in ones resume that increases the chances of being hired? (Or both - "depends on the job"?) Cheers, - Daniel
Oct 23 2011
next sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 10/23/2011 2:56 PM, Daniel Gibson wrote:
 But I'd be interested in the opinions of other people in this newsgroup
 who earn money with software development (or have done so in the past):
 Have you ever experienced exposure to GPL'ed or proprietary software as
 a hindrance for a job?

In once selling a license to some software I wrote for $$$, the licensee's lawyers grilled me about if I'd worked on the popular GPL'd version. I told them I hadn't, and that satisfied them that I wasn't trying to pass off GPL'd code as my own. They were just doing their due diligence. If I had worked on the GPL'd version, then I'd have had to go through a lot more grilling to ensure none of that code had leaked into the code I was selling.
Oct 23 2011
parent reply Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com> writes:
Am 24.10.2011 01:59, schrieb Walter Bright:
 On 10/23/2011 2:56 PM, Daniel Gibson wrote:
 But I'd be interested in the opinions of other people in this newsgroup
 who earn money with software development (or have done so in the past):
 Have you ever experienced exposure to GPL'ed or proprietary software as
 a hindrance for a job?

In once selling a license to some software I wrote for $$$, the licensee's lawyers grilled me about if I'd worked on the popular GPL'd version. I told them I hadn't, and that satisfied them that I wasn't trying to pass off GPL'd code as my own. They were just doing their due diligence. If I had worked on the GPL'd version, then I'd have had to go through a lot more grilling to ensure none of that code had leaked into the code I was selling.

Ok, this kinda makes sense, but I guess that having been exposed to the GPL'ed version wouldn't have made the deal impossible, just harder? (Couldn't they just compare the code or something?) Also this wasn't about being exposed to GPL'ed software in general but to this specific project, if I understand correctly. And I can imagine that similar problems could have existed with other licenses, e.g. proprietary in some constellations like "Company A developed $software, later company B buys a license to develop it further, maybe with the help of some of A's engineers. Then company C also buys a license and wants experts from company A to help them - but they need to make sure that no code from company B slips into their codebase". Or something like that. But I do understand that in some circumstances exposure to GPL'ed code of a specific project could be a hinderance. Thanks for sharing :-) Cheers, - Daniel
Oct 24 2011
parent Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 10/24/2011 1:02 PM, Daniel Gibson wrote:
 Ok, this kinda makes sense, but I guess that having been exposed to the
 GPL'ed version wouldn't have made the deal impossible, just harder?

Right - not impossible, just harder.
 (Couldn't they just compare the code or something?)

At the rates lawyers charge, it would be expensive. There's always the issue that if you're intimately familiar with X, and you wish (for legal reasons) to write an equivalent Y, it is pretty hard to make it different. You will unintentionally make much of it pretty similar to X. The first IBM PC BIOS had a big problem with this. They solved it by dividing the dev team into three groups: 1. One group read the IBM PC BIOS and wrote a spec for it. 2. Another group of lawyers vetted the spec. 3. Spec was passed to a third group who implemented it, and who were not allowed to talk to group 1 nor look at the IBM PC BIOS source in any way. IBM was notoriously litigious and protective of their IP, but this "clean room" technique, as it was dubbed, worked. And the PC clone industry was thence born. So, how far you need to go to avoid 'taint' kind of depends on how litigious and aggressive your competitor is.
Oct 24 2011
prev sibling parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Daniel Gibson" <metalcaedes gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:j822kv$7jf$2 digitalmars.com...
 Am 23.10.2011 23:28, schrieb Chante:
 "Daniel Gibson" <metalcaedes gmail.com> wrote in message
 news:j81ve0$7jf$1 digitalmars.com...
 Am 23.10.2011 22:59, schrieb Chante:
 "Jeff Nowakowski" <jeff dilacero.org> wrote in message
 news:j81rap$1f50$1 digitalmars.com...
 On 10/22/2011 01:56 PM, Steve Teale wrote:
 I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.

 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"

 Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

No, it doesn't. It's pure flamebait. Nobody wants to get herpes and it serves no useful purpose. On the other hand, many people happily use GPL software and like the fact that the source is available and will remain available with further distributions. If you don't like GPL then don't use it. It's not hidden and going to infect you without your consent.

It is "subtle": a programmer exposed to the viral source code (or some software company's source code) becomes "tainted" from that exposure. Most programmers, unfortunately, do not consider this. It is especially "evil" in the case of viralware because a youngster at home just wanting to learn programming or build some software will download the viral code and become "tainted" at an early age (way before he/she is able to make decisions concerning his/her future and what is best for them). It's like marketing cigarettes to youngsters!

This is like claiming anyone who ever worked with proprietary code can never again work at another company because he is tainted.

It is to be considered. Or should be, but most people don't think very deeply about anything and rather "just go with the flow" ("sheeple"?). Virginity is sometimes a requirement. It may be wise to value that to keep the possibilities open.

I've never read a job description that said "we want a programmer that has no job experience and has not touched GPL code either". In the contrary, prior job experience (which mostly implies having touched proprietary code) is often required or at least helpful, and having worked with open source code (GPL or whatever) usually is a bonus.

While such a "concept" may be new to you, it is not to me. If I'm the first to say it, maybe some who are not yet "tainted" will see it as a differentiator and/or a way forward. Surely, if I had the funds to hire programmers, the role description would be something like you stated above.
 Often having experience with Linux and other GPL'ed software from the
 Linux environment is even required - many companies use Linux and
 related software + their own proprietary stuff, so you end up modifying
 GPL'ed code so it works with your product and thus have to touch it.

That is one, pervasive (but how did it become to be pervasive?) scenario, but hardly the only one, as I have noted.
 It's not "black or white", of course. There are varying degrees of
 "baggage" ("taint") one has. If all a programmer has known is viral
 source projects, he/she probably knows too many (or only) viral source
 code passages and can't program effectively otherwise. Surely too big 
 a
 risk for pristine source code (again, IMO). Before one starts to learn
 programming, they should think about where they want to go with that 
 in
 the future, for unwise choices early on can hamper (or worse) the
 possibilities. Caveat emptor.

I think this (don't look at GPL- or otherwise "viral" code if you want to become a professional programmer) is groundless fearmongering. Sounds like FUD directly from Microsofts worst marketers.

I was coming from the perspective that no one like that is going to get anywhere near my codebase. I don't care what other people do/are doing. If there comes a point when I have to use someone else's code, I'll think long and hard before making any association. The ideal, for me, is allying with others who are also not "tainted". If I have to, and if I get the opportunity to, I will "grow" these people. Viral source code is, to me, like I described it in my first post. If there was any "message" in what I brought forth, it is surely, to not follow blindly and not to fall into "traps" placed by someone else's agendas. Use the ol' noggin, IOW. What one knows may not be as important as what one does not know.
 But I'd be interested in the opinions of other people in this newsgroup
 who earn money with software development (or have done so in the past):
 Have you ever experienced exposure to GPL'ed or proprietary software as
 a hindrance for a job?
 Is the opposite true - Open Source commitment (GPL or otherwise) is a
 bonus in ones resume that increases the chances of being hired?
 (Or both - "depends on the job"?)

"Job" is but one thing, freedom is another. "Job" may be the only option once one becomes "tainted". Surely one cannot say "clean room" development for a product they offer from their own company once they have exposed themselves, unknowingly or not, to viral source code or another company's source code. While these may be novel thoughts, they are not hard to grasp. Maybe I'm the only one who values "untainted" (for lack of a better word at the moment), but maybe just for the time being. While I'm not quite yet ready to seek such associations, I don't mind hearing from others who have the same/similar value(s). I may have to get on with that. Obviously I can't "code the world over" by myself. Right now I'm reeling with what first-to-file means for me, where I can "find" the money to talk with good patent attorneys or find the time to do in-depth research into those matters. I certainly don't expect a "cure" to become available in my lifetime, :-(, but haven't lost hope completely for sueh. (And, for the record, there is no viral source code that I wish to use. I consider it "crap code". The patent issues in the other realm, DO bother me however).
Oct 23 2011
parent reply Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com> writes:
Am 24.10.2011 02:35, schrieb Chante:
 "Daniel Gibson" <metalcaedes gmail.com> wrote in message 
 news:j822kv$7jf$2 digitalmars.com...
 I've never read a job description that said "we want a programmer that
 has no job experience and has not touched GPL code either".

While such a "concept" may be new to you, it is not to me. If I'm the first to say it, maybe some who are not yet "tainted" will see it as a differentiator and/or a way forward. Surely, if I had the funds to hire programmers, the role description would be something like you stated above.

This would exclude many talented programmers - which are hard enough to find without restrictions like that. How is someone going to get experience without working with foreign code? Reading books on programming and also exhibits you to foreign code (that often doesn't even have an implicit license but only the license of the whole book that is basically "don't copy at all").
 The ideal, for me, is 
 allying with others who are also not "tainted". 

i.e. people without any experience.
 But I'd be interested in the opinions of other people in this newsgroup
 who earn money with software development (or have done so in the past):
 Have you ever experienced exposure to GPL'ed or proprietary software as
 a hindrance for a job?
 Is the opposite true - Open Source commitment (GPL or otherwise) is a
 bonus in ones resume that increases the chances of being hired?
 (Or both - "depends on the job"?)

"Job" is but one thing, freedom is another.

Not getting contact with any "tainted" source code (like the DMD frontend, btw) doesn't seem like freedom to me.
 "Job" may be the only option 
 once one becomes "tainted". Surely one cannot say "clean room" 
 development for a product they offer from their own company once they 
 have exposed themselves, unknowingly or not, to viral source code or 
 another company's source code.

So you're gonna start your own company without any prior professional experience and without looking at most (?) open source code and you'll only hire people that also have no experience? Good luck with that. I don't see the value of "untainted" code per your definition. Of course you don't want to break copyright by mixing in code that you may not mix in (because of incompatible licenses or whatever), but this much paranoia is not needed and not feasible. And if somebody claims you stole their code they don't *have* to believe you if you say "I've never seen it", so in the end facts - or maybe some incompetent judge or jury - will decide. Or are you gonna breed you own programmers that are (from childhood on!) guaranteed to not have any exposure to "tainted" code by locking them up without any contact to the rest of the world (including yourself, because you can't guarantee that you're not tainted)? Cheers, - Daniel
Oct 24 2011
parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Daniel Gibson" <metalcaedes gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:j84ibc$1l0g$3 digitalmars.com...
 Am 24.10.2011 02:35, schrieb Chante:
 "Daniel Gibson" <metalcaedes gmail.com> wrote in message
 news:j822kv$7jf$2 digitalmars.com...
 I've never read a job description that said "we want a programmer 
 that
 has no job experience and has not touched GPL code either".

While such a "concept" may be new to you, it is not to me. If I'm the first to say it, maybe some who are not yet "tainted" will see it as a differentiator and/or a way forward. Surely, if I had the funds to hire programmers, the role description would be something like you stated above.

This would exclude many talented programmers - which are hard enough to find without restrictions like that.

Experience in programming is not necessarily an asset. It's easier to teach someone anew than it is to "unteach" someone. Those "talented" programmers that you mention may indeed be the ones I would want to avoid because that "talent" is chock full of viral source code techniques or proprietary patterns. Programming isn't that hard, and it's not even very important. What is important is being able to render things in code. Say, a GUI or file system or a space shuttle launcher. I won't be looking for "coders" per se, but rather those who know how to implement something that I don't know how to or have no desire to. A WYSIWIG print engine, for example. I probably don't want to hire someone to do that either. I'll buy it from the company/individual who does that kind of thing after evaluating the choices. I don't have to start or support a "communistic movement". I can just go to the store and buy what I want (maybe even barter for it: I'll trade you my file system for your GUI system, e.g.)
 How is someone going to get experience without working with foreign 
 code?

Creating it, of course. The best way to learn programming is to jump in with both feet. I'd recommend NOT looking first at how others do it. Use the knowledge gained from the instructional materials. Looking at other renderings should come after trying it one's self. Have you ever heard music played by someone who learned it FIRST from the music sheet instead of trying to put it together on their own? The result is horrendous. I do a little bit of consulting from time to time. A lot of times (almost always), the client tries to present a potential solution (nevermind that they don't have the foundational knowledge to do that) instead of stating the problem they want solved. What that does is color my mind immediately instead of leaving me to think freely to come up with what I think is the best solution (not to mention that it bypasses all my well-evolved methods designed to deliver a project efficiently).
 Reading books on programming and also exhibits you to foreign code 
 (that
 often doesn't even have an implicit license but only the license of the
 whole book that is basically "don't copy at all").

Read the other books then that really want to educate rather than to sell code. Ideally, if I may fantasize a bit more, I wouldn't hire programmers. I'd hire "normal" ( ;-) ) people and teach them to program as it is done by the standards and methods of my company.
 The ideal, for me, is
 allying with others who are also not "tainted".

i.e. people without any experience.

Exactly: with no PROGRAMMING experience. Of course, for the highly-comp-sci-like stuff, it's another story, but I'm thinking that those aren't "hires" but rather products that some other company makes which I will buy to use. Maybe have them whittle-out a little peace of their technology tailored to my needs.
 But I'd be interested in the opinions of other people in this 
 newsgroup
 who earn money with software development (or have done so in the 
 past):
 Have you ever experienced exposure to GPL'ed or proprietary software 
 as
 a hindrance for a job?
 Is the opposite true - Open Source commitment (GPL or otherwise) is a
 bonus in ones resume that increases the chances of being hired?
 (Or both - "depends on the job"?)

"Job" is but one thing, freedom is another.

Not getting contact with any "tainted" source code (like the DMD frontend, btw) doesn't seem like freedom to me.

It's a personal choice. It depends on one's goals and capabilities. I'm more of the type like Intel is as a company. Excerpt from their TOS for their AppUp program: "Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy INTEL OR ITS EMPLOYEES DO NOT ACCEPT OR CONSIDER UNSOLICITED IDEAS, INCLUDING IDEAS FOR NEW ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS, NEW PROMOTIONS, NEW PRODUCTS OR TECHNOLOGIES, PROCESSES, MATERIALS, MARKETING PLANS OR NEW PRODUCT NAMES. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY ORIGINAL CREATIVE ARTWORK, SAMPLES, DEMOS, OR OTHER WORKS. THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THIS POLICY IS TO AVOID POTENTIAL MISUNDERSTANDINGS OR DISPUTES WHEN INTEL'S PRODUCTS OR MARKETING STRATEGIES MIGHT SEEM SIMILAR TO IDEAS SUBMITTED TO INTEL. SO, PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR UNSOLICITED IDEAS TO INTEL OR ANYONE AT INTEL. IF, DESPITE OUR REQUEST THAT YOU NOT SEND US YOUR IDEAS AND MATERIALS, YOU STILL SEND THEM, PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT INTEL MAKES NO ASSURANCES THAT YOUR IDEAS AND MATERIALS WILL BE TREATED AS CONFIDENTIAL OR PROPRIETARY." IOW, they have plenty of their own ideas and don't want or need anyone else's. I have a feeling that most programmers aren't that creative and tend to "requrgitate" what they have seen elsewhere, such as in viral source code, and that is not a good thing, not for my projects, anyway.
 "Job" may be the only option
 once one becomes "tainted". Surely one cannot say "clean room"
 development for a product they offer from their own company once they
 have exposed themselves, unknowingly or not, to viral source code or
 another company's source code.

So you're gonna start your own company without any prior professional experience and without looking at most (?) open source code and you'll only hire people that also have no experience? Good luck with that.

It sounds CRAZY, doesn't it! I'm hardly a noob at programming though. So much so, that I don't need to hire guru programmers. (I think everybody else is doing it "wrong").
 I don't see the value of "untainted" code per your definition.

Well maybe after reading this post you'll have a better understanding of my position on the matter.
 Of course you don't want to break copyright by mixing in code that you
 may not mix in (because of incompatible licenses or whatever), but this
 much paranoia is not needed and not feasible.

Well if it can't be had, then the alternatives would have to be evaluated. I do think, though, that the ideal situation is "growing" the developers rather than having to "unteach" (if that is even possible, given that the only patterns they may know is viral source patterns) existing ones.
 And if somebody claims you stole their code

And how would they ever know anyway, since my goals are to deliver "shrink-wrapped" software product, not source code product?
 they don't *have* to believe
 you if you say "I've never seen it", so in the end facts - or maybe 
 some
 incompetent judge or jury - will decide.

Doesn't it seem prudent to dodge that bullet from the get go?
 Or are you gonna breed you own programmers that are (from childhood 
 on!)

That probably would have been a great idea 10 or 20 years ago, for me. Maybe "I fucked up royally" in that regard.
 guaranteed to not have any exposure to "tainted" code by locking them 
 up
 without any contact to the rest of the world (including yourself,
 because you can't guarantee that you're not tainted)?

Well you're just presenting the extreme end case, which of course is not representative of the actual "landscape" of things. There is a range of between best case and worst case. I think the latter would be the case where someone has ONLY worked with viral source (or only at Microsoft?), and the best case would be training a non-programmer (for the non-highly-comp-sci things) with good capability in another domain.
Oct 24 2011
prev sibling parent Don <nospam nospam.com> writes:
On 23.10.2011 22:59, Chante wrote:
 "Jeff Nowakowski"<jeff dilacero.org>  wrote in message
 news:j81rap$1f50$1 digitalmars.com...
 On 10/22/2011 01:56 PM, Steve Teale wrote:
 I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.

 GPL: "Free as in Herpes"

 Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

No, it doesn't. It's pure flamebait. Nobody wants to get herpes and it serves no useful purpose. On the other hand, many people happily use GPL software and like the fact that the source is available and will remain available with further distributions. If you don't like GPL then don't use it. It's not hidden and going to infect you without your consent.


I don't think that's completely true. You can look at code (and download it) before you discover that it's GPLed. It's happened to me a few times. Mostly when there was code included in an article; but sometimes when the license was changed from BSD to GPL when the code was updated.
Oct 26 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply renoX <renzyx free.fr> writes:
I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.

GPL: "Free as in Herpes"

Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

No, not at all. First, it isn't new: it's just the "GPL is viral" classic FUD, then it's still incorrect: when you're ill from a viral infection, you didn't choose it but a developer can choose whether he wants to use GPL code or not. Incorrect analogies are really, really nasty stuff, please don't propagate this FUD. renoX
Oct 24 2011
next sibling parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"renoX" <renzyx free.fr> wrote in message 
news:j8383e$1ul8$1 digitalmars.com...
I'dneverseenitbefore-maybeIleadashelteredlife.

GPL:"FreeasinHerpes"

Doesn'tthatjusthitthenailonthehead.


What happened to the spaces?
 No, not at all.
 First, it isn't new: it's just the "GPL is viral" classic FUD, then
 it's still incorrect: when you're ill from a viral infection, you
 didn't choose it but a developer can choose whether he wants to use
 GPL code or not.

 Incorrect analogies are really, really nasty stuff, please don't
 propagate this FUD.
 renoX

Meh, use of the term "FUD" itself has become a FUD tactic. And it's just an analogy (plus joke). Analogies are rarely perfect and they aren't meant to hold up to being picked apart by all the little details. It's close enough as an analogy.
Oct 24 2011
next sibling parent reply Jeff Nowakowski <jeff dilacero.org> writes:
On 10/24/2011 05:30 AM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 Meh, use of the term "FUD" itself has become a FUD tactic. And it's just an
 analogy (plus joke). Analogies are rarely perfect and they aren't meant to
 hold up to being picked apart by all the little details. It's close enough
 as an analogy.

It's deceitful propaganda and mudslinging. If it was directed at D you'd be up in arms.
Oct 24 2011
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Jeff Nowakowski" <jeff dilacero.org> wrote in message 
news:j84fli$1it5$1 digitalmars.com...
 On 10/24/2011 05:30 AM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 Meh, use of the term "FUD" itself has become a FUD tactic. And it's just 
 an
 analogy (plus joke). Analogies are rarely perfect and they aren't meant 
 to
 hold up to being picked apart by all the little details. It's close 
 enough
 as an analogy.

It's deceitful propaganda and mudslinging. If it was directed at D you'd be up in arms.

So expressing disapproval about something, and the reason for the disapproval, is suddenly "deceitful propaganda and mudslinging"? Ah, I forgot, ever since the 60's nobody's allowed to have a negative option on anything...
Oct 24 2011
parent reply Jeff Nowakowski <jeff dilacero.org> writes:
On 10/24/2011 05:24 PM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 So expressing disapproval about something, and the reason for the
 disapproval, is suddenly "deceitful propaganda and mudslinging"?

Cut the bullshit, Nick. I explained already why "GPL: "Free as in Herpes" was flamebait, deceitful, mudslinging propaganda. You just liked it because it was "hilarious flamebait" and because you hate the GPL.
 Ah, I forgot, ever since the 60's nobody's allowed to have a negative
 option on anything...

Just like when people make bullshit statements about D on Stack Overflow, Reddit, or here you get pissed off. Bullshit it bullshit, regardless of whether you are for or against something. There's nothing wrong with expressing a negative opinion, as long as it reasoned and truthful. The original post was neither.
Oct 25 2011
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Jeff Nowakowski" <jeff dilacero.org> wrote in message 
news:j86k2q$hoj$1 digitalmars.com...
 On 10/24/2011 05:24 PM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 So expressing disapproval about something, and the reason for the
 disapproval, is suddenly "deceitful propaganda and mudslinging"?

Cut the bullshit, Nick. I explained already why "GPL: "Free as in Herpes" was flamebait, deceitful, mudslinging propaganda.

And I refute your explanation. That doesn't leave the discussion in a place where "flamebait, deceitful, mudslinging propaganda" has become accepted fact.
 You just liked it because it was "hilarious flamebait" and because you 
 hate the GPL.

Now who's bullshitting? The "flamebait" part was obviously just carried over from the message being replied to as a way to "flip it around", so to speak, and the key was the "hilarious" part. It's a common thing. Maybe it was too subtle. If so, my apologies. And I *did* state that there were a couple things I did like about the GPL.
 Ah, I forgot, ever since the 60's nobody's allowed to have a negative
 option on anything...

Just like when people make bullshit statements about D on Stack Overflow, Reddit, or here you get pissed off. Bullshit it bullshit, regardless of whether you are for or against something. There's nothing wrong with expressing a negative opinion, as long as it reasoned and truthful. The original post was neither.

I do believe you have that backwards. Calling the OP "flamebait, deceitful, mudslinging propaganda" was neither truthful nor well reasoned. It was indeed truthful. And as far as reasoning: The GPL propogates itself through what it touches. That's what's considered "viral", period. All these rediculous nitpicks about "useful purpose" and "voluntary acts" are absolutely no more sensible than saying "No, it's not viral because it's not made out of nucleic acids!!" Doesn't matter if you like the GPL or not: Face it, the shoe fits. Hell, I can even make "GPL is viral" arguments based on notion of GPL being voluntary. But I've been avoiding that because it's beside the damn point. As for the comparison with D, if someone makes a negative statement about D that *is* truthful, even said in a joking tounge-in-cheek mannar, I do *not* get pissed off or up in arms about it. And even when it isn't truthful, I usually just simply correct them.
Oct 25 2011
parent reply Jeff Nowakowski <jeff dilacero.org> writes:
On 10/25/2011 04:48 PM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 It was indeed truthful. And as far as reasoning: The GPL propogates
 itself through what it touches. That's what's considered "viral",
 period.

Yes, it has *some* viral aspects. That doesn't mean "Free as in Herpes" isn't deceitful mudslinging.
 All these rediculous nitpicks about "useful purpose" and "voluntary
 acts" are absolutely no more sensible than saying "No, it's not viral
 because it's not made out of nucleic acids!!" Doesn't matter if you
 like the GPL or not: Face it, the shoe fits.

Nitpicking? Are you serious? GPL has provided immense benefits and has been voluntarily adopted around the world, and it's "nitpicking" to criticize somebody who says "Free as in Herpes"?
 As for the comparison with D, if someone makes a negative statement
 about D that *is* truthful, even said in a joking tounge-in-cheek
 mannar, I do *not* get pissed off or up in arms about it. And even
 when it isn't truthful, I usually just simply correct them.

*snort* You of the midnight, drunken rants about Google, or rants about pretty much anything. Sure, you "simply correct" people and don't get pissed off. Are you going to make me dig up examples?
Oct 25 2011
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Jeff Nowakowski" <jeff dilacero.org> wrote in message 
news:j87qki$2pnb$1 digitalmars.com...
 On 10/25/2011 04:48 PM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 It was indeed truthful. And as far as reasoning: The GPL propogates
 itself through what it touches. That's what's considered "viral",
 period.

Yes, it has *some* viral aspects. That doesn't mean "Free as in Herpes" isn't deceitful mudslinging.
 All these rediculous nitpicks about "useful purpose" and "voluntary
 acts" are absolutely no more sensible than saying "No, it's not viral
 because it's not made out of nucleic acids!!" Doesn't matter if you
 like the GPL or not: Face it, the shoe fits.

Nitpicking? Are you serious? GPL has provided immense benefits and has been voluntarily adopted around the world,

So have the non-viral free licenses.
 and it's "nitpicking" to
 criticize somebody who says "Free as in Herpes"?

Yes. Because the statement is clearly intended as tongue-in-cheek.
 As for the comparison with D, if someone makes a negative statement
 about D that *is* truthful, even said in a joking tounge-in-cheek
 mannar, I do *not* get pissed off or up in arms about it. And even
 when it isn't truthful, I usually just simply correct them.

*snort* You of the midnight, drunken rants about Google, or rants about pretty much anything.

Heh :) I certainly get pissed about about things, but not about statements that are true.
 Sure, you "simply correct" people and don't get
 pissed off. Are you going to make me dig up examples?

I said "usually", and even that was only referring to non-truthful statements about D.
Oct 25 2011
parent reply Jeff Nowakowski <jeff dilacero.org> writes:
On 10/26/2011 12:51 AM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:

 "Jeff Nowakowski"<jeff dilacero.org>  wrote in message
 Nitpicking? Are you serious? GPL has provided immense benefits and
 has been voluntarily adopted around the world,


 So have the non-viral free licenses.

And if I said they were "Free as in dogshit", would this also be "true" and not mudslinging?
Oct 26 2011
parent reply Don <nospam nospam.com> writes:
On 26.10.2011 17:16, Jeff Nowakowski wrote:
 On 10/26/2011 12:51 AM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:

 "Jeff Nowakowski"<jeff dilacero.org> wrote in message
 Nitpicking? Are you serious? GPL has provided immense benefits and
 has been voluntarily adopted around the world,


 So have the non-viral free licenses.

And if I said they were "Free as in dogshit", would this also be "true" and not mudslinging?

There is a serious point behind it, though. The use of "free" in conjunction with the GPL, has a different meaning than "free" normally means. The term "free software" is highly misleading, it should probably be spelt "Free Software(tm)". Or "Free* Software. *Conditions apply." Public domain is "free as in free". GPL is NOT "free as in free". And they talk about the "libre" sense of free, but it ISN'T free in the libre sense, either! It's "free as in copyleft". I wish they would stop using the word "free". I think it's dishonest marketing spin. Just use "copyleft". Disclaimer: I have released some code under the GPL.
Oct 26 2011
next sibling parent Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Don Wrote:

 Public domain is "free as in free".

Maybe better call it "anarchy"? Terminological improvements work both ways.
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent foobar <foo bar.com> writes:
Don Wrote:

 On 26.10.2011 17:16, Jeff Nowakowski wrote:
 On 10/26/2011 12:51 AM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:

 "Jeff Nowakowski"<jeff dilacero.org> wrote in message
 Nitpicking? Are you serious? GPL has provided immense benefits and
 has been voluntarily adopted around the world,


 So have the non-viral free licenses.

And if I said they were "Free as in dogshit", would this also be "true" and not mudslinging?

There is a serious point behind it, though. The use of "free" in conjunction with the GPL, has a different meaning than "free" normally means. The term "free software" is highly misleading, it should probably be spelt "Free Software(tm)". Or "Free* Software. *Conditions apply." Public domain is "free as in free". GPL is NOT "free as in free". And they talk about the "libre" sense of free, but it ISN'T free in the libre sense, either! It's "free as in copyleft". I wish they would stop using the word "free". I think it's dishonest marketing spin. Just use "copyleft". Disclaimer: I have released some code under the GPL.

To me this whole discussion looks like trying to call an agnostic an "atheist" which is IMHO not correct. To me, GPL is intuitively more "free" than public domain. The concept of "free" depends heavily on POV and I'd argue that you're looking at this from a wrong perspective: there are two freedoms in conflict here, that of the original owner's and that of his respective users and while you want the latter, the GPL enforces the former. GPL is VERY free. This thread speaks of trying to make the original work *less* free by allowing users to close it and modify without contributing back. I understand that this limits us from incorporating GPL work in phobos. but that is a feature and not a bug in the definition of "freedom".
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Jeff Nowakowski <jeff dilacero.org> writes:
On 10/27/2011 02:44 AM, Don wrote:
 There is a serious point behind it, though.
 The use of "free" in conjunction with the GPL, has a different meaning
 than "free" normally means.

I actually agree, and have espoused this view myself in the past. If this was the reasoned argument that was actually made, instead of "free as in herpes", then I would have no problem with it.
Oct 27 2011
next sibling parent reply Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Jeff Nowakowski Wrote:

 On 10/27/2011 02:44 AM, Don wrote:
 There is a serious point behind it, though.
 The use of "free" in conjunction with the GPL, has a different meaning
 than "free" normally means.

I actually agree, and have espoused this view myself in the past. If this was the reasoned argument that was actually made, instead of "free as in herpes", then I would have no problem with it.

My experience says we can't have freedom without law. Anarchy is possible only hypothetically (it would work only in a very unrealistic condition). So it's pretty safe to assert freedom implies enforcement.
Oct 27 2011
parent Jeff Nowakowski <jeff dilacero.org> writes:
On 10/27/2011 02:01 PM, Kagamin wrote:
 My experience says we can't have freedom without law. Anarchy is
 possible only hypothetically (it would work only in a very
 unrealistic condition). So it's pretty safe to assert freedom implies
 enforcement.

The kind of enforcement the GPL requires is along the lines of consumer protection laws and not freedom. It's more like saying you have to list the ingredients in your food product.
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling parent "Jonathan M Davis" <jmdavisProg gmx.com> writes:
On Thursday, October 27, 2011 10:05 Steve Teale wrote:
 I actually agree, and have espoused this view myself in the past. If
 this was the reasoned argument that was actually made, instead of "free
 as in herpes", then I would have no problem with it.

I wish I'd never posted the item in the first place - it was intended as a kind of meta-meta-comment. I had just never heard the herpes analogy before. Can we all just relax and go back to where we were.

It was a bit funny, but naturally folks ended up turning it into a serious discussion, and it's a rather heated topic, so I don't think that it's all that surprising that it ended up this way. - Jonathan M Davis
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
Don wrote:
 On 26.10.2011 17:16, Jeff Nowakowski wrote:
 On 10/26/2011 12:51 AM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:

 "Jeff Nowakowski"<jeff dilacero.org> wrote in message
 Nitpicking? Are you serious? GPL has provided immense benefits and
 has been voluntarily adopted around the world,


 So have the non-viral free licenses.

And if I said they were "Free as in dogshit", would this also be "true" and not mudslinging?

There is a serious point behind it, though. The use of "free" in conjunction with the GPL, has a different meaning than "free" normally means. The term "free software" is highly misleading, it should probably be spelt "Free Software(tm)". Or "Free* Software. *Conditions apply."

And have a warning label, required by the "surgeon general of software", stating the hazards/dangers. :-)
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling parent renoX <renzyx free.fr> writes:
GPL:"Free as in Herpes"

Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.



 Incorrect analogies are really, really nasty stuff, please don't
 propagate this FUD.
 renoX

And it's just an analogy (plus joke).

Given that many programmers do really believe this meme and don't understand that "GPL propagation" happens ONLY through VOLONTARY REUSE of code whereas virus propagations don't, it's a really, really bad analogy plus a tasteless joke. renoX
Oct 25 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"renoX" <renzyx free.fr> wrote in message 
news:j8383e$1ul8$1 digitalmars.com...
I'd never seen it before - maybe I lead a sheltered life.

GPL: "Free as in Herpes"

Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head.

No, not at all. First, it isn't new: it's just the "GPL is viral" classic FUD,

Not that I care about anything GPL (rejected it long ago), but how is calling GPL'd code "viral" not appropriate when just placing uninfected code next to it, infects it? On another note: Isn't the goal of GPL to offer "crap code" with the intent-of/attempt-at getting good (valuable/saleable/researched/developd) code? A "something for nothing", "Gen Y", "entitlement" mindset? See: http://www.aspeneducation.com/article-entitlement.html
Oct 24 2011
parent reply renoX <renzyx free.fr> writes:
 First, it isn't new: it's just the "GPL is viral" classic FUD,


Your choice.
 but how is calling GPL'd code "viral" not appropriate when just

Because *someone* joined the GPL code and the other code, so it is a *voluntary act* whereas being infected by a biological virus is usually something totally involuntary. I said so already in my post you're replying.. Maybe you should read the whole post before replying.
 On another note: Isn't the goal of GPL to offer "crap code" with

 intent-of/attempt-at getting good

Your flamebait/assertions is not supported by facts: the Linux kernel and other software are definitely not "crap code".
Oct 25 2011
parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"renoX" <renzyx free.fr> wrote in message 
news:j86eo6$6i8$1 digitalmars.com...
 First, it isn't new: it's just the "GPL is viral" classic FUD,


Your choice.
 but how is calling GPL'd code "viral" not appropriate when just

Because *someone* joined the GPL code and the other code, so it is a *voluntary act* whereas being infected by a biological virus is usually something totally involuntary.

That's silly. You're trying to defend GPL on the basis of an analogy not being identical to the thing it is being likened to. IOW, you're trying to play "analogy warfare" instead of "getting the message". One can on to say, well the person who went to the doctor's office didn't expect to come back with <some disease> because the doctor didn't wash his hands between patients. Yada, yada...
 I said so already in my post you're replying..
 Maybe you should read the whole post before replying.


 On another note: Isn't the goal of GPL to offer "crap code" with

 intent-of/attempt-at getting good

Your flamebait/assertions is not supported by facts: the Linux kernel and other software are definitely not "crap code".

That's just your opinion.
Oct 25 2011
prev sibling parent Steve Teale <steve.teale britseyeview.com> writes:
 
 I actually agree, and have espoused this view myself in the past. If
 this was the reasoned argument that was actually made, instead of "free
 as in herpes", then I would have no problem with it.

I wish I'd never posted the item in the first place - it was intended as a kind of meta-meta-comment. I had just never heard the herpes analogy before. Can we all just relax and go back to where we were. Steve
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Mon, 24 Oct 2011 10:39:54 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Chante Wrote:

 While I haven't thought it through (and maybe don't have the knowledge  
 to
 do so), elimination of software patents was something I had in mind as a
 potential cure for the current state of affairs (not a cure for viral
 source code though). Of course, noting that first-to-file is now the
 thing, it appears (to me) that Big Software Corp and Big Government are
 on one side, humanity on the other.

Patents are seen to exist for humanity. Elimination of patents is equivalent to elimination of intellectual property. You're not going to succeed on that. But GPL3 at least protects you from patent claims from the author, so you'd better use it. You're afraid of others, but GPL can also protect *your* code.

Patents are to foster innovation. Software innovation needs no patent system to foster it. Nobody writes a piece of software because they were able to get a patent for it. I feel software patents are a completely different entity than material patents. For several reasons: 1. Software is already well-covered by copyright. 2. With few exceptions, the lifetime of utility of a piece of software is well below the lifetime of a patent (currently 17 years). 3. It is a very slippery slope to go down. Software is a purely *abstract* thing, it's not a machine. It can be produced en mass with near-zero cost. It can be expressed via source code, which is *not* a piece of software. There is a very good reason things like music, art, and written works are not patentable. Free speech is at odds with software patents. 4. Unlike a physical entity, it is very likely a simple individual, working on his own time with his own ideas, can create software that inadvertently violates a "patent" with low cost. To restrain free-thought like this goes against the spirit of the patent system. The patent system when it was designed, protected the little guys who have good ideas from the giants who were the only ones capable of stealing them. Software patents are the other way around, and serve as a barrier to entry more than a system to foster new ideas. By the time you are able to "build on" an expired patent's ideas, the technology is long obsolete. 5. The patent office does *NOT UNDERSTAND* software, so they are more apt to grant trivial patents (e.g. one-click). My take: Either software patents should be *elminiated* entirely, or reduced to a reasonable software lifetime (e.g. 2 years). -Steve
Oct 24 2011
parent reply Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 1. Software is already well-covered by copyright.

You can't write software out of thin air. Let's suppose ranges increase usability of a collections library. Can you write a collections library without knowing about ranges concept? That's what patents are for.
 3. It is a very slippery slope to go down.  Software is a purely  
 *abstract* thing, it's not a machine.

Software is a machine: concrete thing doing concrete job. Patent doesn't protect the machine itself, it protects concrete design work put into it. Design is a high-profile work, a good design has a good chance to be more expensive than the actual implementation. So it's perfectly valid to claim ownership for a design work and charge fees for it.
 It can be produced en mass with near-zero cost.

Dead software is seen as unusable. So - no, to produce software you need continuous maintenance and development which is as expensive as any other labor.
 4. Unlike a physical entity, it is very likely a simple individual,  
 working on his own time with his own ideas, can create software that  
 inadvertently violates a "patent" with low cost.

I don't see how this doesn't apply to physical machines. How to improve patent system is another question. GPL3 can actually play some role here: there's no mercantile reason to restrict use of a patented technology in a GPL3 software.
 5. The patent office does *NOT UNDERSTAND* software, so they are more apt  
 to grant trivial patents (e.g. one-click).

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn965-wheel-patented-in-australia.html
Oct 25 2011
next sibling parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Kagamin" <spam here.lot> wrote in message 
news:j87a5u$1sjv$1 digitalmars.com...

 there's no mercantile reason to restrict use of a patented technology 
 in a GPL3 software.

Explain that statement please. Do you wish to retract it?
Oct 25 2011
parent reply Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Chante Wrote:

 there's no mercantile reason to restrict use of a patented technology 
 in a GPL3 software.

Explain that statement please. Do you wish to retract it?

GPL software cannot be sold for profit, so even if the author would be charged a fee 1% per sold copy the patent holder will get 0 anyway.
Oct 25 2011
parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
I'm not getting the point on this, so I have to ask again what you mean 
and this time I will do it by analysis (breaking it into pieces) and you 
can then see what I'm not getting and hence tell me. (I read the 
follow-up posts but I still don't get it). It could very well be that my 
mind right now is locked-in to my own train of thought and I'm not able 
to escape it for all the other things currently on my mind (read, no 
brain-power to use for non-top-priority things).

"Kagamin" <spam here.lot> wrote in message 
news:j881u4$79e$1 digitalmars.com...
 Chante Wrote:

 there's no mercantile reason



Paraphrased: There is no reason for a company in the business of selling software
 to restrict use of a patented technology



Why would they have gotten the patent if not to restrict the use of the patented thing? After R&D and associated costs, a company gets a patent to allow them to recover the R&D costs, and then some, from the exclusive right to sell (/produce?) the patented thing for a given period of time.
 in a GPL3 software.



Why would a company "void" their patent (i.e., effectively give up the exclusive right to sell/produce the patented thing) by stamping it "GPL"?
 Explain that statement please. Do you wish to retract it?

GPL software cannot be sold for profit,

Well-known fact, OK.
 so even if the author

The software company that obtained the patent? Someone rendering the patent other than the patent holder? The latter is illegal, yes?
 would be charged a fee

"fee" what? "fee" upon whom? Who's "authoring" anything other than the patent holder with the exclusive right to sell/produce the patented thing?
 1% per sold copy

???
 the patent holder will get 0 anyway.

Written as "conclusive in support of <whatever>" but the path to this "conclusion", and therefor this "conclusion", is, "non-sensical"? **** Help me out here please. What am I missing?
Oct 25 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:op.v3yn2di8eav7ka localhost.localdomain...
 On Tue, 25 Oct 2011 17:37:02 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 1. Software is already well-covered by copyright.

You can't write software out of thin air. Let's suppose ranges increase usability of a collections library. Can you write a collections library without knowing about ranges concept? That's what patents are for.

patents exist to give an *incentive* to give away trade secrets that would otherwise die with the inventor.

That last part is, of course, a fallacy. It implies that the trade secrets would not be carried forward beyond the inventor's life by companies, progeny or some other means.
The idea is, if you patent something,  you enjoy a period of monopoly, 
where you can profit from the fruits of  your invention.

The defined period though may or may not be enough to recover the costs of invention. Who's to put a price on someone's work of invention which cost him pretty much all of his adult life? The patent office? I think not! And while some may not like that another's goals may be to "milk the invention for all it's worth for as long as possible", that's just "tough titties". Others may desire that scenario to give some "power" to those who can do good with it rather than build war machines and make war.
 In return, you bestow upon the world the secret behind  your idea.

That is only one possible scenario, perhaps "the moral high ground" perspective, but not even so, as shown above. It looks more (to me) like someone wanting to "get something for nothing". Instead of playing people like lottery tickets, those types should... buy lottery tickets|
 This allows people to build on your idea in the future, instead of 
 nobody ever being able to discover what your invention was.

The people in the company surrounding the product don't do that? Isn't software like children? An inventor may indeed have goals and purposes envisioned for his inventions. Why bother bringing babies home from the hospital? Just leave them there for whatever, right? Why not make all things a giant cesspool of cluster-fucking? Everything, all of the time, 100% entitlement. (As the corporate middle managers yell in unison, "Yeah man, that!"). Now, about those proprietary "rights" you think you have to your children... are you sure someone else hasn't filed a patent for them before you?
Oct 26 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:op.v3yn2di8eav7ka localhost.localdomain...

 the fact that software  patents are *rarely* beneficial to the 
 community.

"the fact"? Citation to scientific studies required. "THE community". You mean "the entitled" set who couldn't create anything on their own if their life depended on it? Those who can't program themselves out of a paper bag? Those who want everything, right now and don't want to work or invest the time to learn? The cognitively lazy? What-is/whom-are this "THE community" group?
 They are mostly used as  weapons to stifle innovation from others.

So to not "give, Give, GIVE!" to these people: http://www.aspeneducation.com/article-entitlement.html, is "to stifle"? Are you one of them trying to propagandishly conceiving scenario like a child trying to "get their way"? Are you are tantrumming because no one will give you everything you want and won't wait on you hand and foot?
 In essence, software patents  have had an *opposite* effect on the 
 industry compared to something like  building cars.  In other words, 
 there's no need for patents to allow  software ideas to be seen by 
 others, it's possible to extract the ideas  from the code.

That sounds like a threat. Of course, those with the ability to create and who have invested their time in learning, rather than "copying someone else's homework" do not see the copycat followers as threats at all, but rather as wastes of life.
Oct 26 2011
prev sibling parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:op.v3yn2di8eav7ka localhost.localdomain...

 3. It is a very slippery slope to go down.  Software is a purely
 *abstract* thing, it's not a machine.

Software is a machine: concrete thing doing concrete job. Patent doesn't protect the machine itself, it protects concrete design work put into it. Design is a high-profile work, a good design has a good chance to be more expensive than the actual implementation. So it's perfectly valid to claim ownership for a design work and charge fees for it.

And why wouldn't you be able to do this without patents?

One can: trade secrets. But a lot of times, techniques cannot be hidden away, for just releasing a product may divulge the "secret", so something more is needed: patent.
 Again, copyright  already covers software.

While it's probably not enough or even the correct thing in the first place, is "software" copyrightable or source code, or both separately? It seems that copyright has appropriateness for software, but is useless as protection of the software designs as represented by source code.
  Plenty of software companies have large amounts  of IP and are 
 successful without having any software patents.

Are you suggesting that there MUST be only ONE ("one and only") way? Great then, let's make it so there is only ONE software too. Problem solved, eh?
 It can be produced en mass with near-zero cost.

Dead software is seen as unusable. So - no, to produce software you need continuous maintenance and development which is as expensive as any other labor.

What I mean is, with a traditional machine, there is a cost to recreating the machine. Such manufacturing requires up-front investment that can possibly outweigh the cost of implementing the design. Patents protect the entity putting their product out there from having a larger company who can throw money around beat you using your idea. In software, since the software is protected by copyright, the competition must build their own version of your software ideas first, and the distribution is relatively insignificant. In other words, once you release your idea to the world, it can be sold and installed for millions in a matter of days, giving you the lion share of the market.

Seems like incentive to get into Engineering, huh. Those who want to "win big" and expend no effort should stick to buying lottery tickets (and stop preying upon others). Keeping things away from the sleazy, grimey fingers of those who want to profit from someone else's labor or get something for nothing, is a good thing.
 4. Unlike a physical entity, it is very likely a simple individual,
 working on his own time with his own ideas, can create software that
 inadvertently violates a "patent" with low cost.

I don't see how this doesn't apply to physical machines.

When you are talking about patents for a machine or physical entity, there is a large investment and cost in just designing the item,

How many man years are in the average commercially offered software product?
 or the means to  manufacture it.  It's less likely that a simple 
 individual has the capital  necessary to create it, and if he does, or 
 can raise it, a patent search  is usually done to avoid complications. 
 He might also look at expired  patents to get ideas on how to do 
 things.

 However, working software can be written by one guy in his apartment in 
 a  couple weeks.

"The quick hack" is hardly "mainstream commercial software product"? Why bring up special cases? Why imply that a special case represents the whole realm?
  He's not going to do patent searches when it costs him just  2 weeks 
 time to create the software.

Assumption may be made that because a patent pre-exists, that someone else cannot independently create the same thing, which of course is possible and likely. Ideally, all patents would be kept a secret so that those independently developed creations could have a life also, instead of just those of "the chosen ones". Not allowing software patents would seem to "level the playing field" for all and cut out useless administration tasks. Hmm, no it wouldn't: big money would feed off of the inventions of the little guy. That's where the consumer fits in though: don't buy from the undeserving, and identify them as the predators they are. That may be the key: render power/money-as-power, useless as a strategy. Something to think about next time you buy from someone who has more than you, huh. Occupy Wallstreet? Why not just stop buying from Wallstreet and instead buy from someone in your neighborhood or on your Facebook/Linked-In friends list?
 Here, the patent system is just  getting in the way of innovation.

The patent system is justified in the name of "incentive", but are patents in reality, a crime against humanity? Patents should, perhaps, be to protect only what cannot be kept a secret. "Incentive" shouldn't even be part of the equation. "Incentive" is "prodding" at best, "imposition" at worst (where the "crime against humanity reference above came from).
 It's having the opposite effect by  instilling fear in anyone writing 
 software that some patent-holding  company is going to squash him out 
 of business.

It does do that, yes.
 When was the last time you did anything with a patented software 
 technology except *avoid it like the plague*?

Never looked at any, but how many do I know of inadvertently because they weren't kept a secret? Where are all the warning signs on information describing patented things? They should have warnings just like cigarettes (yet another cigarette analogy... Cigarettes and information about patented things: things that may be hazardous or dangerous).
 How to improve patent system is another question.


Can't be fixed and the only solution is to eliminate it?
 GPL3 can actually play
 some role here: there's no mercantile reason to restrict use of a 
 patented technology in a GPL3 software.

IMO, there's no reason to ever use any form of GPL anymore. It's work is done.

So now it's supposed to be credited with something and people should bow to it? What is that something? That communism doesn't work in practice?
Oct 26 2011
parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 19:18:14 -0400, Chante <udontspamme never.will.u>
 wrote:

 "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message
 news:op.v3yn2di8eav7ka localhost.localdomain...

 3. It is a very slippery slope to go down.  Software is a purely
 *abstract* thing, it's not a machine.

Software is a machine: concrete thing doing concrete job. Patent doesn't protect the machine itself, it protects concrete design work put into it. Design is a high-profile work, a good design has a good chance to be more expensive than the actual implementation. So it's perfectly valid to claim ownership for a design work and charge fees for it.

And why wouldn't you be able to do this without patents?

One can: trade secrets. But a lot of times, techniques cannot be hidden away, for just releasing a product may divulge the "secret", so something more is needed: patent.

If you don't "divulge" the secret, then you don't sell anything.

What do you mean? You don't think that behind the covers of compiled sofware, patentable things don't exist?
 Note
 that the secret is already difficult to reproduce, no patents
 necessary, because it's not in source form, and one cannot simply
 duplicate the code, you have to rewrite it in your own code.

Just "difficult" to produce? Not "impossible" in many cases?
 Just
 knowing the secret isn't enough.

("keeping" would be much better than "knowing" here, as that is what you meant. "knowing" makes the reader think twice or thrice or reread to figure out if you are talking about the inventor or the copycat).
 Patents are needed because you
 cannot copyright machines. Copyright is actually a better protection,
 because it can be extended over 100 years past the lifetime of the
 author (I question the need for this time length too).

I really don't see the relevance of copyright for a company in the business of creating and selling shrink-wrapped software (i.e., not selling source code product). Patents as a means of protection for only that which cannot be reasonably kept a trade secret, seems quite in the right direction for "patent system reform".
 People sell books, and have no problem doing so without patents,
 because a book is hard to reproduce.  But one can always read a good
 book and use the same "design" (i.e. plot elements, sequence of
 story, etc.) to write their own book.  And it doesn't necessarily
 hurt the original author.

So your point is that that is analogously applicable to software too? I could see that only if the patterns were reused in software not in competition with the original software. The scenario with the book results in a new story. The scenario with software could result in a competitive product if it has the same functionality.
 Again, copyright  already covers software.

While it's probably not enough or even the correct thing in the first place, is "software" copyrightable or source code, or both separately? It seems that copyright has appropriateness for software, but is useless as protection of the software designs as represented by source code.

Both are copyrightable. Source code is written words, binary code is a direct translation.

What I was asking is whether one needs 2 patents or one: one for the source and another for the shrink-wrapped product? I can see the value of copyright for the shrink-wrapped product, but not for the source code because it doesn't give any useful level of protection from reproduction of something ever so slightly different being produced.
 If source code is equivalent to a book,

It isn't.
 then the binary code is
 equivalent to a translation to a different language of the same book.

I think the book analogy is detrimental for it isn't even "apples and oranges", it's "fruits and meats" or "fruits and cars" or something.
 Both are covered under the original author's copyright.

  Plenty of software companies have large amounts  of IP and are
 successful without having any software patents.

Are you suggesting that there MUST be only ONE ("one and only") way? Great then, let's make it so there is only ONE software too. Problem solved, eh?

I'm not really sure what you are saying here...

You seemed to have stated something like, "See, here is an example where it works that way, hence it should be the golden standard that everyone should/must use. There is no need for multiple things tailored to specific scenarios or desires". Or, "See, they don't need software patents to earn a buck, so no one does. Let's close the patent office tomorrow then".
 It can be produced en mass with near-zero cost.

Dead software is seen as unusable. So - no, to produce software you need continuous maintenance and development which is as expensive as any other labor.

What I mean is, with a traditional machine, there is a cost to recreating the machine. Such manufacturing requires up-front investment that can possibly outweigh the cost of implementing the design. Patents protect the entity putting their product out there from having a larger company who can throw money around beat you using your idea. In software, since the software is protected by copyright, the competition must build their own version of your software ideas first, and the distribution is relatively insignificant. In other words, once you release your idea to the world, it can be sold and installed for millions in a matter of days, giving you the lion share of the market.

Seems like incentive to get into Engineering, huh. Those who want to "win big" and expend no effort should stick to buying lottery tickets (and stop preying upon others). Keeping things away from the sleazy, grimey fingers of those who want to profit from someone else's labor or get something for nothing, is a good thing.

If nobody was able to use anyone else's ideas, where would we be today?

I was not suggesting that people should not share ideas. People like to do that and always will do that. Just not to everyone and all the time. Well-defined, narrow interfaces, I would prefer. The patent system is the opposite of that.
 You may misunderstand my point of view.  I'm all *for* IP
 protection, just not *monopoly* protection where it is not needed.

Because you feel other's are somehow entitled to the fruits of another's labor other than whom the inventor decides are worthy (say his own family or company)? How many great changes have been thwarted by such?
 The US patent system as it exists today is not a good fit for
 protecting software.

Not for me and you. For Microsoft it probably is.
 It does not achieve the goals that the patent
 system was created for.

I'm not so sure. Let many innovate for some years, then change to first-to-file, then "rape and pillage" "the commoner", give the already powerful even more power.
 Have you heard of patent trolls?

Yes.
 These are firms that write no
 software, yet they file for or acquire software patents in the hopes
 that some day someone will write covered software and they can
 collect royalties.

Congress or the patent office or whoever controls that stuff seem to in on that: first-to-file (it seems to me, but I'm just learning about this stuff, so maybe I don't "really" hate the sons-of-bitches). It's perhaps class-action suit appropriate? Is that the ONLY way to get people (and governments and other institutions) to do the right thing these days?
 How is that not "profiting from someone else's labor"?

It is abhorant. What's more abhorant is that so little thought goes into things before hand. Everything is "correction after the fact". I have no faith that "loopholes" like that are not "designed-in".
 4. Unlike a physical entity, it is very likely a simple
 individual, working on his own time with his own ideas, can
 create software that inadvertently violates a "patent" with low
 cost.

I don't see how this doesn't apply to physical machines.




I left my job/career in the construction equipment manufacturing industry, for the very reason: I could never own it. Too much capital required: from steel and iron foundry to engines to all kinds of earth-moving equipment. All I could ever have in that industry, is a job. The software industry, OTOH, allows me to own a company that manufactures software.
 When you are talking about patents for a machine or physical entity,
 there  is a large investment and cost in just designing the item,

How many man years are in the average commercially offered software product?

And how many man years would it take for someone to reproduce it? Again, the patent system covered IP that was not copyrightable. Things that are copyrightable are hard to reproduce.

I was just interjecting that a lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into software engineering also. It's not all "a quick and easy hack", even if you have a recipe a priori.
 or the means to  manufacture it.  It's less likely that a simple
 individual has the capital  necessary to create it, and if he does,
 or can raise it, a patent search  is usually done to avoid
 complications. He might also look at expired  patents to get ideas
 on how to do things.

 However, working software can be written by one guy in his
 apartment in a  couple weeks.

"The quick hack" is hardly "mainstream commercial software product"? Why bring up special cases? Why imply that a special case represents the whole realm?

Because it's the quick hacks that infringe on patents which are affected.

Independently-developed software should be allowed to coexist. It shouldn't be "infringement". Noting that this is indeed irrefutably the case (that many patentable software things can be independently developed), a lot of time, effort and money should be working on finding solution in that area. There is no excuse for not doing so. It is complacency, or conspiracy, or non-fitness-for-the-job (maybe I'd prefer it to be a crime, maybe it already is, maybe the crime can only be identified as such over time (historically)). (As you can tell, I'd fire pretty much everyone if I could ;) ).
 Large companies who have libraries of patents don't care
 about violating other company patents, because there is mutually
 assured destruction.

I'm not worried about any company/person having a large number of patents, as long as they are truly their inventions and not "trivial". I think the second it can be shown that a patented thing has been independently invented (for instance, my bankers boxes of designs and notes in the basement from 10 years ago (yes, work will have to be done in this area if carbon-dating is too course-grained for the task at hand)), that patent should be invalidated, replaced with a tombstone indicating a non-patentable thing,and respected as a trade secret going forward.
 Essentially, the quick hack does well, it blossoms into a good piece
 of complex and useful software.  The developer creates a company,
 hires developers, marketing, etc.  Gets big enough, and then some
 competitor decides they are too big and sues to put them out of
 business.  Not having any patents for software, the developer cannot
 counter-sue, and goes out of business.

If the rule I gave above were in place, then, if the little guy truly independently invented an already-patented thing, the patent would become a trade secret (not much of a "secret" anymore, but still has value, no need to make things worse for the inventors by leaving it in the public domain) for all who give a care about it. The current way, "I got here first.. na! na!", is abhorant, and needless to say, unbecoming of those responsible for such an implementation.
  He's not going to do patent searches when it costs him just  2
 weeks time to create the software.

Assumption may be made that because a patent pre-exists, that someone else cannot independently create the same thing, which of course is possible and likely. Ideally, all patents would be kept a secret so that those independently developed creations could have a life also, instead of just those of "the chosen ones". Not allowing software patents would seem to "level the playing field" for all and cut out useless administration tasks. Hmm, no it wouldn't: big money would feed off of the inventions of the little guy.

In fact, it's the exact opposite. Smaller software companies usually win because they are more agile and they charge less. If you really think Big Money would feed off the little guy,

Change "little guy" to "the one who did the R&D" and it's more general. That R&D could mean "the whole world" to the little guy (doesn't have to necessarily be "little"), but is trivial to the billion-dollar software oppressor. Little guy releases his life's work, only to be crushed in the market the following month by Big SOB Software, Inc. via it's leverage of funds and labor. All the little guy can hope for is that the consumer will recognize what is happening, and buy from him instead of from Big Asshole Software.
 why do so many
 software giants oppose eliminating or lessening software patents?

So far, from this thread, I think I have realized that I would prefer either: 1. Allowing patents for things that cannot be kept a secret, while allowing independently-developed inventions to be enabled and facilitated via elimination of patent if independent development of a patented thing can be shown to have occurred. 2. Can't help but reserve some hope for the consumer. (This would be the ideal scenario, but I'm not holding my breath). IOW, "U ken have yer steenkeen patents Mr. Big Asshole owner, but ain't no one gonna buy from you no more".
 That's where the consumer fits in though: don't buy from the
 undeserving, and identify them as the predators they are. That may
 be the key: render power/money-as-power, useless as a strategy.

I'll buy from whomever makes the best product.

My goal is to buy from those who have less than I do, at some level of acceptable product (and not for heart surgery). "Best" is, of course, subjective. I find nothing good in making the already rich richer, but I do find good in giving other people a chance at freedom.
 If you make a good
 product, you deserve to be paid for it.

That is too simplistic to use as my philosophy, and surely Big SOB Software is banking on you seeing their 10-million-LOC, whiz-bang software as "the best". I'm just stating my philosophy, I'm in no way saying that it is better than yours or that you should change yours.
 Problem is, monopolies
 usually don't make a good product, because lack of competition
 hinders advancement.

That is not true. It can be true in a given instance or instances, but it is not in general true. There are possibilities other than just "monopoly" and "competition".
 Something to
 think about next time you buy from someone who has more than you,
 huh.

I don't fault people for being successful.

I like helping people with lesser means to grow, achieve their dreams and have to nice lives as they wish them to be. Call it an investment in the future. The rich don't need my money, and if I can, I'll keep it from them. I see no good that comes from concentration of wealth and power.
 There is no need to punish
 someone because you are jealous of their wealth, you have the same
 opportunities (at least in the US).

You're free to state it, or color it, as you wish.
 Here, the patent system is just  getting in the way of innovation.

The patent system is justified in the name of "incentive", but are patents in reality, a crime against humanity? Patents should, perhaps, be to protect only what cannot be kept a secret. "Incentive" shouldn't even be part of the equation. "Incentive" is "prodding" at best, "imposition" at worst (where the "crime against humanity reference above came from).

No, you misunderstand the position.

Maybe, but probably not entirely. (Did you mean your's or the reason for patents as originally marketed?)
 Patents are necessary to protect
 things that are not *already* protected by copyright.

It's hard for me to work copyright into this. I have a mindset that copyright does not afford protection from copycats. Protection for end-user copiers, yes, but that's something different. When I think of "patentable things", I'm thinking about things like that secret mechanism within the software that accesses the database data that is unique from all other ways (read, only I know how to do, or as far as I know I'm the only one) and is key to significantly improving the transaction rate. Is that patentable, assuming it hasn't already been patented?
 Copyright is
 much better protection when it is possible because it's very very
 difficult to duplicate a copyrighted work.

But if software is not like a book, then copyright is not appropriate. Maybe what I don't understand is the "machines cannot be patented" or whatever.
 Without patents, I feel
 innovation would not have been as rapid for most industries. Software 
 is not one of them.

If a software company is prevented from using an independently-developed, but already patented by someone else, thing, ... oh wait, we're on the same (or similar) page here! I don't see complete elimination of patents as a solution in fairness. Little guy has no defense against the powerful, for one thing (I don't have faith that the consumer would do anything other than "buy the "best"").
 It's having the opposite effect by  instilling fear in anyone
 writing software that some patent-holding  company is going to
 squash him out of business.

It does do that, yes.
 When was the last time you did anything with a patented software
 technology except *avoid it like the plague*?

Never looked at any, but how many do I know of inadvertently because they weren't kept a secret? Where are all the warning signs on information describing patented things? They should have warnings just like cigarettes (yet another cigarette analogy... Cigarettes and information about patented things: things that may be hazardous or dangerous).
 How to improve patent system is another question.


Can't be fixed and the only solution is to eliminate it?

Or limit them. Change the term to 2 years, and you will see a lot less issue. 17 years is about 8 generations in the software industry. Think of what software was like 17 years ago.

I don't think the time is an issue. Making things easy for copycats and "the entitled" probably won't make for a "healthy" industry. It just makes more lazy people.
 GPL3 can actually play
 some role here: there's no mercantile reason to restrict use of a
 patented technology in a GPL3 software.

IMO, there's no reason to ever use any form of GPL anymore. It's work is done.

So now it's supposed to be credited with something and people should bow to it? What is that something? That communism doesn't work in practice?

It's accomplishment was to enforce open-source software in spite of the corporate negative view of open source software.

Well I won't tangent again on my opinion of the quality of open-sourceware.
  Essentially, it
 said "if you want our services, you have to play nice."  But now, we
 have much better open-source licenses, and a whole ecosystem built
 around open source.

And a lot of youngsters smoking cigarettes. Imagine instead if all the millions out of work right now were part of small software shops. Which is better? Is it hard to believe that the innovation would not have been orders of magnitudes greater than it has been? (Call it, a hypothesis). I can point at open-sourceware as a stifler of innovation and betterment as easily as I can at Monstrous Software Company. (Call it, faith in the individual).
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> writes:
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

On Mon, 2011-10-24 at 22:51 -0500, Chante wrote:
[ . . . ]
 Simply keep it a secret ("trade secret"). First-to-file allows Big=20
 Softare Corp to claim rights to things which they have no proprietary=20
 right to. But I'm not read-up on this stuff, I'm just spouting feelings.=

 My feelings are that I've been sold-out, betrayed, raped (but I won't=20
 know for sure if those feelings are correct until I figure this stuff=20
 out).

I am not a lawyer, but do work as an expert witness -- normally in the UK, the laws of which are very different regarding patents than the US. I would suggest that your gut feeling is about spot on. First-to-file is a beautiful manoeuvre by Big Money to take complete control of the patent system. The "little guy" for whom the patent system is touted as being for (usually by Big Money!), is effectively sidelined since now Big Money can nigh on remove any competition for patents by threats of high cost legal action. This is making sure that patents are by Big Money for Big Money. I have always preferred "commercial secret" and binding NDAs for dealing with proprietary software. With the US system evolving as it is, and the pressure Big Money is putting on the UK and EU systems, my belief is being massively reinforced. =20 --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.n= et 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel russel.org.uk London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder
Oct 25 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Brad Anderson <eco gnuk.net> writes:
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On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 10:22 PM, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Chante Wrote:

 there's no mercantile reason to restrict use of a patented technology
 in a GPL3 software.

Explain that statement please. Do you wish to retract it?

GPL software cannot be sold for profit, so even if the author would be charged a fee 1% per sold copy the patent holder will get 0 anyway.

Where'd you get that silly notion? It's libre, not gratis. [1] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowMoney --0015174c1644959fee04b02c4151 Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 10:22 PM, Kagamin <span dir=3D"ltr">&lt;spam here.l= ot&gt;</span> wrote:<br><div class=3D"gmail_quote"><blockquote class=3D"gma= il_quote" style=3D"margin:0 0 0 .8ex;border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-lef= t:1ex;"> <div class=3D"im">Chante Wrote:<br> <br> &gt; &gt; there&#39;s no mercantile reason to restrict use of a patented te= chnology<br> &gt; &gt; in a GPL3 software.<br> &gt;<br> &gt; Explain that statement please. Do you wish to retract it?<br> <br> </div>GPL software cannot be sold for profit, so even if the author would b= e charged a fee 1% per sold copy the patent holder will get 0 anyway.<br> </blockquote></div><br><div>Where&#39;d you get that silly notion? =A0It&#3= 9;s libre, not gratis.</div><div><br></div><div>[1]=A0<a href=3D"http://www= .gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowMoney">http://www.gnu.org/lic= enses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowMoney</a></div> --0015174c1644959fee04b02c4151--
Oct 25 2011
next sibling parent Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Brad Anderson Wrote:

 GPL software cannot be sold for profit, so even if the author would be
 charged a fee 1% per sold copy the patent holder will get 0 anyway.

Where'd you get that silly notion? It's libre, not gratis. [1] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowMoney

I didn't say "not allowed" I said "can't". You can't make money from a link to GPL FAQ either. I was talking about facts not hypotheses.
Oct 25 2011
prev sibling parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Brad Anderson" <eco gnuk.net> wrote in message 
news:mailman.475.1319604042.24802.digitalmars-d puremagic.com...
 On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 10:22 PM, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Chante Wrote:

 there's no mercantile reason to restrict use of a patented technology
 in a GPL3 software.

Explain that statement please. Do you wish to retract it?

GPL software cannot be sold for profit, so even if the author would be charged a fee 1% per sold copy the patent holder will get 0 anyway.


Non-GPL free software can't realisticlly be sold at a profit either. Yea, it's *technically* allowed, but all you have to do is say "Hey all! No-cost version of the same damn thing over here...!!!" Hell, you can even position your no-cost version as pirated, except no one can stop you because it's totally legal. Seriously, anyone who *tried* to sell zlib/MIT/etc software would essentially be getting into the business of selling "guaranteed pre-pirated" products, and we all know how much companies like getting pirated. And even if they did do it and make money, well, you were already just giving it away, so you wouldn't have been getting any of that money in the first place. And if *that* happened, you can just change your mind and start selling it yourself, even close up the newer versions, etc... Yea, you can come up with a bunch of contrived "got ripped-off" scenarios, but ultimately the risk is very, very low, and there's many avenues of recourse that don't involve the courts (which most open-source authors would never be able to aggressively pursue anyway). There's already lots of zlib/MIT/etc software authors out there, how many of them have gotten ripped off from money that would have otherwise ended up in their pocket? Worrying about it is akin to picking up "getting mobbed as a result of winning the lottery" insurance.
 Where'd you get that silly notion?  It's libre, not gratis.

 [1] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowMoney

FSF keeps banging that drum, but it's only true in theory. Realistically, libre tends to force gratis unless there's some significant non-libre component that's required, such as game assets. What you *can* do with GPL is dual-license with a paid commercial alternative. But then it's *not* the GPL version that's being sold, it's the non-GPL, non-libre version, *and* the public at large doesn't benefit from improvements to it. So even then, you're still not selling GPL software for a profit, you're just selling the ability to [in the eyes of those who view GPL as more free than zlib/MIT/etc] reduce the user's freedoms.
Oct 25 2011
parent Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Nick Sabalausky Wrote:

 There's already lots of 
 zlib/MIT/etc software authors out there, how many of them have gotten ripped 
 off from money that would have otherwise ended up in their pocket?

Oracle sells zlib database compression for $11500 per processor.
Oct 26 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> writes:
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On Wed, 2011-10-26 at 01:32 -0400, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
[ . . . ]
 I think you misunderstood my point. What I was trying to say is: If=20
 someone's going to worry about others profiting from their free code, why=

 they even make it free in the first place?

I have no problem with companies making money from FOSS by providing value added service or proprietary components, as long as they are clearly seen to be "giving back" to the FOSS community as a "quid pro quo". What I object to is companies taking FOSS software, making a proprietary product from it, getting updates from the FOSS community for free, restricting product purchasers regarding the FOSS software and generally treating the FOSS community as a pool of slave labour to be milked. --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.n= et 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel russel.org.uk London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder
Oct 26 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 03:09:48 -0400, Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk>  
wrote:

 On Wed, 2011-10-26 at 01:32 -0400, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 [ . . . ]
 I think you misunderstood my point. What I was trying to say is: If
 someone's going to worry about others profiting from their free code,  
 why'd
 they even make it free in the first place?

I have no problem with companies making money from FOSS by providing value added service or proprietary components, as long as they are clearly seen to be "giving back" to the FOSS community as a "quid pro quo". What I object to is companies taking FOSS software, making a proprietary product from it, getting updates from the FOSS community for free, restricting product purchasers regarding the FOSS software and generally treating the FOSS community as a pool of slave labour to be milked.

So you're saying the code you write as FOSS should cost something (i.e. you want something in return)? Interesting... -Steve
Oct 26 2011
parent reply Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 So you're saying the code you write as FOSS should cost something (i.e.  
 you want something in return)?  Interesting...

It's just two paradigms: if you choose freedom, GPL ensures and protects the freedom. You can also provide your efforts to corporations - why not? - proprietary licenses and patents are *adequate* means to do it.
Oct 26 2011
parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Kagamin" <spam here.lot> wrote in message 
news:j892gn$2b5k$1 digitalmars.com...
 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 So you're saying the code you write as FOSS should cost something 
 (i.e.
 you want something in return)?  Interesting...

It's just two paradigms: if you choose freedom, GPL ensures and protects the freedom. You can also provide your efforts to corporations - why not? - proprietary licenses and patents are *adequate* means to do it.

Surely you meant "communism" rather than "freedom", otherwise the above is non-sensical.
Oct 26 2011
parent reply Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Chante Wrote:

 So you're saying the code you write as FOSS should cost something 
 (i.e.
 you want something in return)?  Interesting...

It's just two paradigms: if you choose freedom, GPL ensures and protects the freedom. You can also provide your efforts to corporations - why not? - proprietary licenses and patents are *adequate* means to do it.

Surely you meant "communism" rather than "freedom", otherwise the above is non-sensical.

See? Corporations and people like you don't buy freedom. Software for money is what you understand best.
Oct 26 2011
parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Kagamin" <spam here.lot> wrote in message 
news:j8an18$2gqr$1 digitalmars.com...
 Chante Wrote:

 So you're saying the code you write as FOSS should cost something
 (i.e.
 you want something in return)?  Interesting...

It's just two paradigms: if you choose freedom, GPL ensures and protects the freedom. You can also provide your efforts to corporations - why not? - proprietary licenses and patents are *adequate* means to do it.

Surely you meant "communism" rather than "freedom", otherwise the above is non-sensical.

See? Corporations and people like you don't buy freedom. Software for money is what you understand best.

Having to give up one's wares "for the good of the group" is oppression/crime against the individual.
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Tue, 25 Oct 2011 00:04:18 -0400, Chante <udontspamme never.will.u>  
wrote:

 "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message
 news:op.v3u2chz6eav7ka localhost.localdomain...
 On Mon, 24 Oct 2011 10:39:54 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Chante Wrote:

 While I haven't thought it through (and maybe don't have the
 knowledge  to
 do so), elimination of software patents was something I had in mind
 as a
 potential cure for the current state of affairs (not a cure for viral
 source code though). Of course, noting that first-to-file is now the
 thing, it appears (to me) that Big Software Corp and Big Government
 are
 on one side, humanity on the other.

Patents are seen to exist for humanity. Elimination of patents is equivalent to elimination of intellectual property. You're not going to succeed on that. But GPL3 at least protects you from patent claims from the author, so you'd better use it. You're afraid of others, but GPL can also protect *your* code.

Patents are to foster innovation. Software innovation needs no patent system to foster it. Nobody writes a piece of software because they were able to get a patent for it. I feel software patents are a completely different entity than material patents. For several reasons: 1. Software is already well-covered by copyright.

Software, though, is not like a book: it's not just text. There is inherent design, architecture, engineering represented by source code.

Books require design, sometimes elaborate design, and engineering of sorts. What an author puts into writing a book is not unlike what an entity puts into writing software.
 2. With few exceptions, the lifetime of utility of a piece of software
 is  well below the lifetime of a patent (currently 17 years).
 3. It is a very slippery slope to go down.  Software is a purely
 *abstract* thing, it's not a machine.

Maybe literally "abstract", but those flow charts, layers, boxes-and-arrows actually become realized (rendered, if you will) by the source code. The text really isn't important. The "abstraction" is.

Software is not unlike math. It achieves something based on an abstract concept of the world. It has practical uses. But math is not patentable.
 It can be produced en mass with  near-zero cost.  It can be expressed
 via source code, which is *not* a  piece of software.  There is a very
 good reason things like music, art,  and written works are not
 patentable.

Music and art don't "do" anything except titilate the senses. Software, OTOH, does do things of practical utility.

Music and art are both different from software and the same. They are different because there are no rules for creating valid music or art. I could bang on the wall randomly with a pipe, and try to sell that as music (and ironically, I might succeed). But they are the same because writing music and creating art that *is good* is a difficult thing that requires careful thought, planning, and execution. -Steve
Oct 26 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Tue, 25 Oct 2011 17:37:02 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 1. Software is already well-covered by copyright.

You can't write software out of thin air. Let's suppose ranges increase usability of a collections library. Can you write a collections library without knowing about ranges concept? That's what patents are for.

patents exist to give an *incentive* to give away trade secrets that would otherwise die with the inventor. The idea is, if you patent something, you enjoy a period of monopoly, where you can profit from the fruits of your invention. In return, you bestow upon the world the secret behind your idea. This allows people to build on your idea in the future, instead of nobody ever being able to discover what your invention was. Not to mention that no other IP protection exists for machine design -- you cannot copyright a car. Given that any item of software can be reverse engineered and studied, this can never happen with software. Add that to the fact that software patents are *rarely* beneficial to the community. They are mostly used as weapons to stifle innovation from others. In essence, software patents have had an *opposite* effect on the industry compared to something like building cars. In other words, there's no need for patents to allow software ideas to be seen by others, it's possible to extract the ideas from the code.
 3. It is a very slippery slope to go down.  Software is a purely
 *abstract* thing, it's not a machine.

Software is a machine: concrete thing doing concrete job. Patent doesn't protect the machine itself, it protects concrete design work put into it. Design is a high-profile work, a good design has a good chance to be more expensive than the actual implementation. So it's perfectly valid to claim ownership for a design work and charge fees for it.

And why wouldn't you be able to do this without patents? Again, copyright already covers software. Plenty of software companies have large amounts of IP and are successful without having any software patents.
 It can be produced en mass with near-zero cost.

Dead software is seen as unusable. So - no, to produce software you need continuous maintenance and development which is as expensive as any other labor.

What I mean is, with a traditional machine, there is a cost to recreating the machine. Such manufacturing requires up-front investment that can possibly outweigh the cost of implementing the design. Patents protect the entity putting their product out there from having a larger company who can throw money around beat you using your idea. In software, since the software is protected by copyright, the competition must build their own version of your software ideas first, and the distribution is relatively insignificant. In other words, once you release your idea to the world, it can be sold and installed for millions in a matter of days, giving you the lion share of the market. Maintenance costs are not part of distribution, they are part of development. Of course maintenance is required, but maintenance does not hinder you from making a profit like manufacturing ramp-up does. And again, the software you write is already protected IP -- copyright.
 4. Unlike a physical entity, it is very likely a simple individual,
 working on his own time with his own ideas, can create software that
 inadvertently violates a "patent" with low cost.

I don't see how this doesn't apply to physical machines.

When you are talking about patents for a machine or physical entity, there is a large investment and cost in just designing the item, or the means to manufacture it. It's less likely that a simple individual has the capital necessary to create it, and if he does, or can raise it, a patent search is usually done to avoid complications. He might also look at expired patents to get ideas on how to do things. However, working software can be written by one guy in his apartment in a couple weeks. He's not going to do patent searches when it costs him just 2 weeks time to create the software. Here, the patent system is just getting in the way of innovation. It's having the opposite effect by instilling fear in anyone writing software that some patent-holding company is going to squash him out of business. When was the last time you did anything with a patented software technology except *avoid it like the plague*?
 How to improve patent system is another question. GPL3 can actually play  
 some role here: there's no mercantile reason to restrict use of a  
 patented technology in a GPL3 software.

IMO, there's no reason to ever use any form of GPL anymore. It's work is done.
 5. The patent office does *NOT UNDERSTAND* software, so they are more  
 apt
 to grant trivial patents (e.g. one-click).

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn965-wheel-patented-in-australia.html

I don't get your argument there, that Australia has a lousy patent system? That Australian "innovation patents" are indefensible? How is this relevant? -Steve
Oct 26 2011
parent reply Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 patents exist to give an *incentive* to give away trade secrets that would  
 otherwise die with the inventor.  The idea is, if you patent something,  
 you enjoy a period of monopoly, where you can profit from the fruits of  
 your invention.

I think, this can work for software the same way.
 Add that to the fact that software  
 patents are *rarely* beneficial to the community.

Does the community want benefits at the expense of the inventor?
 They are mostly used as
 weapons to stifle innovation from others.  In essence, software patents  
 have had an *opposite* effect on the industry compared to something like  
 building cars.

Let's look at the H264 technology. Would it exist in the first place if its creators had no chance to patent it? Everyone benefit from H264. They charge corporations for patent application, corporations sell quality tools - everyone benefit. MPEG LA (patent holder) said end users won't be charged for viewing H264 video and they allow patent application without fees by free GPL-licensed x264 encoder and free LGPL-licensed libavcodec decoder - opensource benefits, end users benefit. I have a vague impression GPL was a requirement: MPEG LA would not allow patent application by boost-licensed code: that would mean total loss of income. No one would benefit from boost license in this case. GPL *wins* everything here with regards to benefit for open source, benefit for users and benefit for professional commercial users.
 3. It is a very slippery slope to go down.  Software is a purely
 *abstract* thing, it's not a machine.

Software is a machine: concrete thing doing concrete job. Patent doesn't protect the machine itself, it protects concrete design work put into it. Design is a high-profile work, a good design has a good chance to be more expensive than the actual implementation. So it's perfectly valid to claim ownership for a design work and charge fees for it.

And why wouldn't you be able to do this without patents? Again, copyright already covers software. Plenty of software companies have large amounts of IP and are successful without having any software patents.

I'm afraid, it's useless to copyright a design: implementation is not a copy so you can't charge for it.
 It can be produced en mass with near-zero cost.

Dead software is seen as unusable. So - no, to produce software you need continuous maintenance and development which is as expensive as any other labor.

What I mean is, with a traditional machine, there is a cost to recreating the machine. Such manufacturing requires up-front investment that can possibly outweigh the cost of implementing the design. Patents protect the entity putting their product out there from having a larger company who can throw money around beat you using your idea.

The same is for software world. A program may require quite a large investment before it could be made usable. Let's consider D: who would get quality implementation first - Digital Mars or Microsoft? If DM doesn't patent D, it will sell *nothing*. Even if DM manages to get some market share, it won't survive competition and eventually lose. IE lost its market share because there was more effort put into Firefox than IE.
 Maintenance costs are not part of distribution, they are part of  
 development.  Of course maintenance is required, but maintenance does not  
 hinder you from making a profit like manufacturing ramp-up does.

Needs for investments may be slightly different, but effectively there's no difference: software project needs continuous investment of resources or it dies.
 However, working software can be written by one guy in his apartment in a  
 couple weeks.  He's not going to do patent searches when it costs him just  
 2 weeks time to create the software.  Here, the patent system is just  
 getting in the way of innovation.  It's having the opposite effect by  
 instilling fear in anyone writing software that some patent-holding  
 company is going to squash him out of business.

I suppose trivial patents are also a problem for physical industry as the wheel patent shows.
 When was the last time you did anything with a patented software  
 technology except *avoid it like the plague*?

I would like to avoid H264 but unfortunately I can't.
 5. The patent office does *NOT UNDERSTAND* software, so they are more  
 apt
 to grant trivial patents (e.g. one-click).

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn965-wheel-patented-in-australia.html

I don't get your argument there, that Australia has a lousy patent system? That Australian "innovation patents" are indefensible? How is this relevant?

They understand software as good as physical technologies.
Oct 26 2011
next sibling parent reply Timon Gehr <timon.gehr gmx.ch> writes:
On 10/26/2011 11:38 PM, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 15:28:21 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 patents exist to give an *incentive* to give away trade secrets that
 would
 otherwise die with the inventor. The idea is, if you patent something,
 you enjoy a period of monopoly, where you can profit from the fruits of
 your invention.

I think, this can work for software the same way.

You can profit from the fruits of your invention *without* patents. You can with machines as well, but software has the added bonus that copyright protects your IP. But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a machine than it is to reverse engineer how software is built.

If it is, for example, a remote web service, reverse engineering is difficult.
Oct 26 2011
next sibling parent Timon Gehr <timon.gehr gmx.ch> writes:
On 10/26/2011 11:50 PM, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:45:45 -0400, Timon Gehr <timon.gehr gmx.ch> wrote:

 On 10/26/2011 11:38 PM, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 15:28:21 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 patents exist to give an *incentive* to give away trade secrets that
 would
 otherwise die with the inventor. The idea is, if you patent something,
 you enjoy a period of monopoly, where you can profit from the
 fruits of
 your invention.

I think, this can work for software the same way.

You can profit from the fruits of your invention *without* patents. You can with machines as well, but software has the added bonus that copyright protects your IP. But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a machine than it is to reverse engineer how software is built.

If it is, for example, a remote web service, reverse engineering is difficult.

If you don't sell it, then there should be no point of patenting it. You have much better protection by keeping it secret... But today we have patents of these things, because they stifle innovation. It creates artificial barriers that only exist because people have gamed the system. -Steve

You are right.
Oct 26 2011
prev sibling parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 On Thu, 27 Oct 2011 02:39:29 -0400, Russel Winder
 <russel russel.org.uk> wrote:

 On Wed, 2011-10-26 at 17:50 -0400, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 [ . . . ]
 But today we have patents of these things, because they stifle
 innovation.  It creates artificial barriers that only exist because
 people
 have gamed the system.

I assume you are based in the USA, since "we" here in the UK do not allow patents on software. It is currently explicitly stated as not being patentable in its own right. Software within machines can be covered by a patent for the machines, but software cannot be patented on its own.

Yes, I'm talking about US patent system. I wish we had the UK system. And even if you are in the UK, you are affected by the US patent system because software you write that may be infringing on US patents cannot be sold in the US without being subject to lawsuit.

Thank you. I asked just that very question in my prior post. Now I know.
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com> writes:
Am 26.10.2011 23:38, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a machine
 than it is to reverse engineer how software is built.

Really? I guess it depends on the machine but I imagine it isn't so hard to dismantle a machine to find out how it works? (But I have no experience with that, it's just a guess) Reverse Engineering software can be pretty hard if the author made it deliberately hard, like Skype. Cheers, - Daniel
Oct 26 2011
next sibling parent reply Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com> writes:
Am 26.10.2011 23:52, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:51:11 -0400, Daniel Gibson
 <metalcaedes gmail.com> wrote:

 Am 26.10.2011 23:38, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a machine
 than it is to reverse engineer how software is built.

Really? I guess it depends on the machine but I imagine it isn't so hard to dismantle a machine to find out how it works? (But I have no experience with that, it's just a guess) Reverse Engineering software can be pretty hard if the author made it deliberately hard, like Skype.

If you have no idea how a material is built, such as a new kind of glass, you have to guess.

Ok, for materials it's probably hard, but there is a possibility of chemical analysis and stuff like that. But I guess for things like e.g. car engines it may be easier (besides maybe special/new materials used).
 There are often few clues left behind of how
 to build a physical machine. This is not the same for software, which
 can always be disassembled.

Getting the relevant information out of the assembly may still not be trivial. But to be honest, I don't have much experience with reverse engineering software either, I just read that it's quite often hard to reverse engineer some software like drivers. Anyway, I'm strongly opposed to software patents. My main concerns are that 1. Often trivial ideas are patented 2. Even for non-trivial stuff it isn't unlikely that some expert reinvents the same algorithm/whatever for the same problem. One Example is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_volume#Depth_fail 3. Because of this you can never be sure you're not violating patents when developing software without knowingly copying ideas of other people. Checking this is impossible even for big companies with specialized lawyers, let alone smaller companies or hobby developers. Cheers, - Daniel
Oct 26 2011
parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
Daniel Gibson wrote:
 Am 26.10.2011 23:52, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:51:11 -0400, Daniel Gibson
 <metalcaedes gmail.com> wrote:

 Am 26.10.2011 23:38, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a
 machine than it is to reverse engineer how software is built.

Really? I guess it depends on the machine but I imagine it isn't so hard to dismantle a machine to find out how it works? (But I have no experience with that, it's just a guess) Reverse Engineering software can be pretty hard if the author made it deliberately hard, like Skype.

If you have no idea how a material is built, such as a new kind of glass, you have to guess.

Ok, for materials it's probably hard, but there is a possibility of chemical analysis and stuff like that. But I guess for things like e.g. car engines it may be easier (besides maybe special/new materials used).

It's not worth it. If a company is relying on a competitor's engines to develop it's own, it's effectively out of the business of engineering (it's just then a manufacturer of other company's products perhaps). Competitive analyis is fine, but a company cannot be in the engine business without the required engineering prowess required for that.
 Anyway, I'm strongly opposed to software patents.
 My main concerns are that
 1. Often trivial ideas are patented
 2. Even for non-trivial stuff it isn't unlikely that some expert
 reinvents the same algorithm/whatever for the same problem.

YES, YES, YES!!!
 One Example is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_volume#Depth_fail

 3. Because of this you can never be sure you're not violating patents
 when developing software without knowingly copying ideas of other
 people. Checking this is impossible even for big companies with
 specialized lawyers, let alone smaller companies or hobby developers.

Sounds like a concept for a new book: "Modern Crimes Against Humanity", or "Crimes Against Humanity in the Age of Technology".
Oct 27 2011
parent reply Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com> writes:
Am 28.10.2011 05:31, schrieb Chante:
 Daniel Gibson wrote:
 Am 26.10.2011 23:52, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:51:11 -0400, Daniel Gibson
 <metalcaedes gmail.com>  wrote:

 Am 26.10.2011 23:38, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a
 machine than it is to reverse engineer how software is built.

Really? I guess it depends on the machine but I imagine it isn't so hard to dismantle a machine to find out how it works? (But I have no experience with that, it's just a guess) Reverse Engineering software can be pretty hard if the author made it deliberately hard, like Skype.

If you have no idea how a material is built, such as a new kind of glass, you have to guess.

Ok, for materials it's probably hard, but there is a possibility of chemical analysis and stuff like that. But I guess for things like e.g. car engines it may be easier (besides maybe special/new materials used).

It's not worth it. If a company is relying on a competitor's engines to develop it's own, it's effectively out of the business of engineering (it's just then a manufacturer of other company's products perhaps). Competitive analyis is fine, but a company cannot be in the engine business without the required engineering prowess required for that.

I don't know. I guess you could claim the same thing about companies who have to steal code from other companies instead of writing it themselves. So what's the difference between "competitive analysis" and "looking at foreign code" anyway? How can you be sure that your engineers don't copy ideas from competitors engines? Cheers, - Daniel
Oct 29 2011
parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Daniel Gibson" <metalcaedes gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:j8hp8a$2nei$1 digitalmars.com...
 Am 28.10.2011 05:31, schrieb Chante:
 Daniel Gibson wrote:
 Am 26.10.2011 23:52, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:51:11 -0400, Daniel Gibson
 <metalcaedes gmail.com>  wrote:

 Am 26.10.2011 23:38, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a
 machine than it is to reverse engineer how software is built.

Really? I guess it depends on the machine but I imagine it isn't so hard to dismantle a machine to find out how it works? (But I have no experience with that, it's just a guess) Reverse Engineering software can be pretty hard if the author made it deliberately hard, like Skype.

If you have no idea how a material is built, such as a new kind of glass, you have to guess.

Ok, for materials it's probably hard, but there is a possibility of chemical analysis and stuff like that. But I guess for things like e.g. car engines it may be easier (besides maybe special/new materials used).

It's not worth it. If a company is relying on a competitor's engines to develop it's own, it's effectively out of the business of engineering (it's just then a manufacturer of other company's products perhaps). Competitive analyis is fine, but a company cannot be in the engine business without the required engineering prowess required for that.

I don't know. I guess you could claim the same thing about companies who have to steal code from other companies instead of writing it themselves.

Well isn't that within the realm of what I said?
 So what's the difference between "competitive analysis" and "looking at 
 foreign code" anyway?

Looking at source code is just discovering how to do it. Meaning the one doing the looking has no capability: the proverbial "freerider" ("freeloader"?). Evaluating a competitor's software application program for features and usage, etc. is what I'd put in the realm of "competitive analysis". In the engine company I used to work for, once in five years I remember having to dyno-test a competitor's engine (the company I worked for had it purchased for us) to evaluate what the thing actually did in regards to torque and horsepower. We didn't do much with it at all except for those kinds of things, for dyno cell time was limited and was better put to use on our own engines than a competitors. They did the same things with ours for sure. "Finding the coca-cola formula" of the engine though? What's the point? (Surely the concept of "what's the point?" is lost on the "freerider").
 How can you be sure that your engineers don't copy ideas from 
 competitors engines?

What's to copy? The engine block color? The chrome valve covers? We had engineers going to the same advanced training, and supporting the same curriculums at universities and such as the competitors, and there aren't that many secrets. And even "the secrets", aren't important. What about "the silver bullet" though, you ask? Anyone wanting source code, should simply go work for the company producing the products, because those have already admitted they are incapable of producing anything out of the ordinary on their own. I think that because source code gets transformed into a binary executable, people want it because of it's ellusiveness. Give it to them, and they will be dissastisfied and need more "fix". It's never enough, because there is nothing really there. Ignore a girl, and she'll be attracted to you (Tha is, IF, you "have" another girl... loners/losers need not apply). Fall for her though, then the baddest boy on the block will be bangin' her while you can just go find "God" or something and "leave me alone already! (when she finds out that the 70k 'vette came from engineering rather than sales jobs)". Grass is greener... where? Let's "get to the crux" of what you asked though, and enough with my banter. You used the words: "engineers" and "copy". Tell me, do find any oxymoronishness, to using those two words in the same sentence?
Oct 29 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
Daniel Gibson wrote:
 Am 26.10.2011 23:38, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a machine
 than it is to reverse engineer how software is built.


Note that reverse-engineering is like copying someone else's homework. It doesn't build any engineering capability. It actually hinders such from occurring.
 Really?
 I guess it depends on the machine but I imagine it isn't so hard to
 dismantle a machine to find out how it works? (But I have no
 experience with that,  it's just a guess)
 Reverse Engineering software can be pretty hard if the author made it
 deliberately hard, like Skype.

Interesting. How did Skype's engineer make it hard to reverse-engineer? Have a link?
Oct 27 2011
parent reply Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com> writes:
Am 28.10.2011 05:18, schrieb Chante:
 Daniel Gibson wrote:
 Am 26.10.2011 23:38, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a machine
 than it is to reverse engineer how software is built.


Note that reverse-engineering is like copying someone else's homework. It doesn't build any engineering capability. It actually hinders such from occurring.
 Really?
 I guess it depends on the machine but I imagine it isn't so hard to
 dismantle a machine to find out how it works? (But I have no
 experience with that,  it's just a guess)
 Reverse Engineering software can be pretty hard if the author made it
 deliberately hard, like Skype.

Interesting. How did Skype's engineer make it hard to reverse-engineer? Have a link?

http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~salman/skype/ here are some links. For example "Silver Neede in the Skype" seems to have some information, I didn't look at the other stuff. One way to make reverse engineering harder is trying to detect debuggers (by measuring time and stuff takes longer if a debugger is involved etc) and then cease working. Interestingly Skype for Linux didn't work on my sisters notebook (crashed shortly after starting), but when started in gdb (gnu debugger) it works fine.. dunno if this is related to anti-reverse engineering/debugging stuff not working properly, but I can imagine that all this voodoo breaks under certain circumstances. Cheers, - Daniel
Oct 29 2011
parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Daniel Gibson" <metalcaedes gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:j8hppc$2nei$2 digitalmars.com...
 Am 28.10.2011 05:18, schrieb Chante:
 Daniel Gibson wrote:
 Am 26.10.2011 23:38, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a machine
 than it is to reverse engineer how software is built.


Note that reverse-engineering is like copying someone else's homework. It doesn't build any engineering capability. It actually hinders such from occurring.


Ha! I answered your question of the other post here before you asked it! Kudos to moi!
 Really?
 I guess it depends on the machine but I imagine it isn't so hard to
 dismantle a machine to find out how it works? (But I have no
 experience with that,  it's just a guess)
 Reverse Engineering software can be pretty hard if the author made it
 deliberately hard, like Skype.

Interesting. How did Skype's engineer make it hard to reverse-engineer? Have a link?

http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~salman/skype/ here are some links. For example "Silver Neede in the Skype" seems to have some information, I didn't look at the other stuff.

I will check that out next week. Thanks.
 One way to make reverse engineering harder is trying to detect 
 debuggers (by measuring time and stuff takes longer if a debugger is 
 involved etc) and then cease working.

I was just thinking "deterent" rather than "bullet proof". As such, maybe I'd use: 1. Built-in mechanisms to prevent end-user copying (many possibilities). 2. An obfuscator on the source before compilation. 3. Compression/expansion, use of TPM, etc. 4. Encryption, where it can be applied (operational behavior, not on source code). 2 and 3 seem real easy to automate: as easy as pushing the "compile" button. 1 seems like a small, internally-used library. Oh, so does 4.
 Interestingly Skype for Linux didn't work on my sisters notebook

Oct 29 2011
prev sibling parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:51:11 -0400, Daniel Gibson
 <metalcaedes gmail.com> wrote:

 Am 26.10.2011 23:38, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a machine
 than it is to reverse engineer how software is built.

Really? I guess it depends on the machine but I imagine it isn't so hard to dismantle a machine to find out how it works? (But I have no experience with that, it's just a guess) Reverse Engineering software can be pretty hard if the author made it deliberately hard, like Skype.

If you have no idea how a material is built, such as a new kind of glass, you have to guess. There are often few clues left behind of how to build a physical machine. This is not the same for software, which can always be disassembled.

That just gets you the assembly code. There are many high-level concepts that are missing from that. But that's not even that important. The software didn't just get specified on it's own. Someone had to think of it. Reverse-engineering, then, really isn't. It's just taking stabs at it. Dissassembly does not achieve figuring out how the software was engineered, how it came to be, and other things.
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:op.v3zaemhyeav7ka localhost.localdomain...
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 15:28:21 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 patents exist to give an *incentive* to give away trade secrets that 
 would
 otherwise die with the inventor.  The idea is, if you patent 
 something,
 you enjoy a period of monopoly, where you can profit from the fruits 
 of
 your invention.

I think, this can work for software the same way.

You can profit from the fruits of your invention *without* patents. You can with machines as well, but software has the added bonus that copyright protects your IP.

It does not? The engineered concepts are not protected by copyright, AFAIK, and THAT is what the IP is. THAT is what took all those years of R&D. So with copyright, someon can paraphrase the source code and then the inventor is SOL?
Oct 27 2011
parent reply "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 On Thu, 27 Oct 2011 16:09:52 -0400, Chante <udontspamme never.will.u>
 wrote:

 "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message
 news:op.v3zaemhyeav7ka localhost.localdomain...
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 15:28:21 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 patents exist to give an *incentive* to give away trade secrets
 that would
 otherwise die with the inventor.  The idea is, if you patent
 something,
 you enjoy a period of monopoly, where you can profit from the
 fruits of
 your invention.

I think, this can work for software the same way.

You can profit from the fruits of your invention *without* patents. You can with machines as well, but software has the added bonus that copyright protects your IP.

It does not? The engineered concepts are not protected by copyright, AFAIK, and THAT is what the IP is. THAT is what took all those years of R&D. So with copyright, someon can paraphrase the source code and then the inventor is SOL?

You think the "one click" design took years of R&D, and not the building of the amazon site?

What is your point?
 Again, "paraphrasing" is not so easy with software.

I was once again suggesting that copyright is not strong enough protection to protect the IP (the mechanisms within and represented by the source code or implied by the shrink-wrapped product).
 Whether you are
 good or not, it takes a long time to write good software.

Don't I know it|
 You really
 think patents are the reason people don't copy large software
 projects?

I don't know why other people don't copy. I just know why I don't (I have plenty of my own ideas to work on and that moves things forward rather than stagnating progress).
 Think about DVD "encryption" that was used to protect DVDs from
 copying. Although it was a poor encryption and once cracked, was
 ridiculed for its simplicity and ease of circumvention, it still was
 very successful in preventing people from copying DVDs.  It was a
 long time before someone actually cracked it.  Is that because of
 patents?

No one was suggesting that patents will prevent reproduction of the patented thing. It acts as a deterent and enables remedy.
 No, it was because the encryption was a trade secret, only
 handed out to those who could pay a hefty sum and promised not to use
 it to make copies or divulge it to any third party.

See, trade secret works.
 Software is HARD to reverse engineer (even though it's definitely
 possible), and its HARD to replicate without direct copying.  One has
 to go from binary code all the way back to the design/spec, and then
 go forward to a completely rewritten, tested, and well developed
 product.  We are talking a huge investment of time and effort, all
 the time while the original author has since improved their product.

I still don't know why anyone bothers doing this. I have no worries about that kind of thing (well, not very much and certainly "orders of magnitude" less relatively). I worry about releasing novel software with the obvious innovations unprotected. Released unprotected, effectively puts me out of business the moment Billion Dollar Bitch Software catches the drift and sucks up the market. Stops my innovation in its tracks. What other than patent can help with this?
 Your statements appear to employ hand-waving to describe the tedious
 process of making a legal re-implementation of software.

I don't know what you mean. As I said above, I'm not worred about that. How you got that idea from my dialog is puzzling.
  Yes,
 copyright protects your investment and your effort, more so than
 patents.

I still don't see that.
 Trade secrets actually are better than patents to protect
 you because you aren't forced to divulge it to the world.

I've said that a number of times. Of course it is easy to do such divulging (getting a patent) if one is seeking patent for something that is clearly able to be, and likely to be, "invented" idependently. And this area, I suggested, is where some focus of the work of "fixing the patent system" should go. Those kind of patents are the ones that should be on the chopping block.
Oct 27 2011
parent reply Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com> writes:
Am 28.10.2011 08:49, schrieb Chante:
 I still don't know why anyone bothers doing this. I have no worries about
 that kind of thing (well, not very much and certainly "orders of
 magnitude" less relatively). I worry about releasing novel software with
 the obvious innovations unprotected. Released unprotected, effectively
 puts me out of business the moment Billion Dollar Bitch Software catches
 the drift and sucks up the market. Stops my innovation in its tracks.
 What other than patent can help with this?

A patent won't help you, Billion Dollar Bitch Software has tons of patents and you'll certainly violate some of them. (And if not they'll claim you do and sue you until you're bankrupt)
Oct 29 2011
parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Daniel Gibson" <metalcaedes gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:j8hpvm$2nei$3 digitalmars.com...
 Am 28.10.2011 08:49, schrieb Chante:
 I still don't know why anyone bothers doing this. I have no worries 
 about
 that kind of thing (well, not very much and certainly "orders of
 magnitude" less relatively). I worry about releasing novel software 
 with
 the obvious innovations unprotected. Released unprotected, effectively
 puts me out of business the moment Billion Dollar Bitch Software 
 catches
 the drift and sucks up the market. Stops my innovation in its tracks.
 What other than patent can help with this?

A patent won't help you, Billion Dollar Bitch Software has tons of patents and you'll certainly violate some of them. (And if not they'll claim you do and sue you until you're bankrupt)

What's that supposed to mean? That I should feel threatened? That I am afraid? I never worked for them. I don't have access to their "patents". Did you mean, but "oh, they were first-to-file"? If I was a warrior, which I am not, I might take that kind of thing as a warring behavior. Since I am not a warrior though, maybe it could be comprehended as an oppressive behavior. (I shouldn't have used the word "bitch", because "ain't no bitch, ever started a war"). (Not that I'd ever work for one though).
Oct 29 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:op.v3zaemhyeav7ka localhost.localdomain...
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 15:28:21 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 patents exist to give an *incentive* to give away trade secrets that 
 would
 otherwise die with the inventor.  The idea is, if you patent 
 something,
 you enjoy a period of monopoly, where you can profit from the fruits 
 of
 your invention.

I think, this can work for software the same way.

You can profit from the fruits of your invention *without* patents. You can with machines as well, but software has the added bonus that copyright protects your IP. But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a machine than it is to reverse engineer how software is built. The secrets can truly die with the inventor, as opposed to software -- regardless of the final binary format, it's always possible to get back to source code. And thanks to copyright law, that source code is a derivative work, you can't use it unless you license it from the originator.
 Add that to the fact that software
 patents are *rarely* beneficial to the community.

Does the community want benefits at the expense of the inventor?

The *point* of patents is to benefit the community. The price society pays to the inventor is granting a monopoly. I'd argue that a 17-year monopoly on software technology and algorithms

Oh, I didn't know it was that long. Yes, I wouldn't complain about that. 2 years would definitely be too short though. Perhaps the amount of man-years invested in the R&D for the technology. Oh wait, that would be 100's of years in lots of cases!
 is too high a price to pay  for knowing a "secret" you can't use until 
 it's very obsolete.  17 years  ago was 1994, Windows 3.1 was all the 
 rage.  Do you really think society  is now going to benefit from using 
 the patented technologies from then?

One can easily argue that if another can only deliver software by copying someone else's techniques, then maybe they should be in another line of business and that keeping technology out of the hands of the copycats is a good thing. There's something very wrong about this patent situation, as it seems "one can't win for losing" with it. I wish everyone would just keep their trade secrets a secret! It would be much simpler then. Then all the scrambling around could be eliminated and those doing all the scrambling could be put to better use being productive.
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 15:28:21 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Add that to the fact that software
 patents are *rarely* beneficial to the community.

Does the community want benefits at the expense of the inventor?

The *point* of patents is to benefit the community. The price society pays to the inventor is granting a monopoly. I'd argue that a 17-year monopoly on software technology and algorithms is too high a price to pay for knowing a "secret" you can't use until it's very obsolete. 17 years ago was 1994, Windows 3.1 was all the rage. Do you really think society is now going to benefit from using the patented technologies from then? When the LZW patent expired, it was a mere amusing footnote, as we had all moved on to better compression technologies long before then.

What you are describing is "group feeding frenzy". "The group" will devour an inventor's inventions in short order for their short-term needs. If an inventor was smart enough to invent something that good, wouldn't it be good to let him build upon that and do more good instead of just feeding the paranas for a day? This whole "concept" of "benefit to society by giving it away to the entitled" is severly flawed reasoning.
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer wrote:

 I think if Microsoft decided to implement D, Walter would be the
 first one jumping for joy :)

Walter, how about a bit more than a one-liner in response to that? I'm positive a lot of other people also would love to hear your thoughts on that.
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer wrote:

 All
 software patents do is create a barrier to innovation, and act as
 weapons against other patent-holding firms.

Patents as a way to protect inventions that cannot be kept a trade secret, and that's all (i.e., that which clearly can be kept trade secret, should not be patentable under this system), may be a better patent system. Such a system would: 1. Allow ongoing development and innovation by the inventor. An idea/concept in the hands of its creator is much more useful, in regards to innovation, than in the hands of copycats who only serve to decrease the inventor's earning potential. 2. Prevent development of technologies that are inadvertently based upon patented work. The much lower number of patents to search through to effect this would be much more amenable to such. 3. Allow many more independently-developed inventions to coexist, for they would be trade secrets rather than stifled by patents. A true boon for the consumer of the inventions. Of course, the above system is onnly necessary because one cannot rely on people to have high standards of values such as honesty and integrity (especially "the entitled set"). Bitten once, twice shy. If it becomes quite common dialog, then it may be worth some risk to throw something out there with an explanation of what the hopes are, and then see what happens.
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 09:38:31 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 So you're saying the code you write as FOSS should cost something (i.e.
 you want something in return)?  Interesting...

It's just two paradigms: if you choose freedom, GPL ensures and protects the freedom. You can also provide your efforts to corporations - why not? - proprietary licenses and patents are *adequate* means to do it.

I choose to provide my efforts to *anyone* without discrimination. I.e. freedom without strings attached. -Steve
Oct 26 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 15:28:21 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 patents exist to give an *incentive* to give away trade secrets that  
 would
 otherwise die with the inventor.  The idea is, if you patent something,
 you enjoy a period of monopoly, where you can profit from the fruits of
 your invention.

I think, this can work for software the same way.

You can profit from the fruits of your invention *without* patents. You can with machines as well, but software has the added bonus that copyright protects your IP. But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a machine than it is to reverse engineer how software is built. The secrets can truly die with the inventor, as opposed to software -- regardless of the final binary format, it's always possible to get back to source code. And thanks to copyright law, that source code is a derivative work, you can't use it unless you license it from the originator.
 Add that to the fact that software
 patents are *rarely* beneficial to the community.

Does the community want benefits at the expense of the inventor?

The *point* of patents is to benefit the community. The price society pays to the inventor is granting a monopoly. I'd argue that a 17-year monopoly on software technology and algorithms is too high a price to pay for knowing a "secret" you can't use until it's very obsolete. 17 years ago was 1994, Windows 3.1 was all the rage. Do you really think society is now going to benefit from using the patented technologies from then? When the LZW patent expired, it was a mere amusing footnote, as we had all moved on to better compression technologies long before then.
 They are mostly used as
 weapons to stifle innovation from others.  In essence, software patents
 have had an *opposite* effect on the industry compared to something like
 building cars.

Let's look at the H264 technology. Would it exist in the first place if its creators had no chance to patent it?

What if is not a fair game. It's impossible for me to say because I did not invent it. But I believe most people who come up with ideas for software are not in it for the patents. Even in the company I worked for which got several software patents, they were an afterthought -- Software is invented to *solve a problem* which needs to be solved whether it can be patented or not. Did the inventors of H.264 do it for the patents? Maybe. But I firmly believe if software wasn't patentable, we would have equivalent video streams today (maybe even better than what we have), because it *solves a problem*.
 Everyone benefit from H264. They charge corporations for patent  
 application, corporations sell quality tools - everyone benefit. MPEG LA  
 (patent holder) said end users won't be charged for viewing H264 video  
 and they allow patent application without fees by free GPL-licensed x264  
 encoder and free LGPL-licensed libavcodec decoder - opensource benefits,  
 end users benefit. I have a vague impression GPL was a requirement: MPEG  
 LA would not allow patent application by boost-licensed code: that would  
 mean total loss of income. No one would benefit from boost license in  
 this case. GPL *wins* everything here with regards to benefit for open  
 source, benefit for users and benefit for professional commercial users.

This is a strawman -- GPL is not required by patent law to be licensed at no cost for software patents. The inventors of H.264 have chosen this route, so good for them. But it is not a benefit of GPL or a strike against boost, it's just what they chose.
 3. It is a very slippery slope to go down.  Software is a purely
 *abstract* thing, it's not a machine.

Software is a machine: concrete thing doing concrete job. Patent

 protect the machine itself, it protects concrete design work put into
 it. Design is a high-profile work, a good design has a good chance to  

 more expensive than the actual implementation. So it's perfectly valid
 to claim ownership for a design work and charge fees for it.

And why wouldn't you be able to do this without patents? Again, copyright already covers software. Plenty of software companies have large amounts of IP and are successful without having any software patents.

I'm afraid, it's useless to copyright a design: implementation is not a copy so you can't charge for it.

You cannot copyright a design. You can copyright implementation. And if you don't make the design public, people have to spend vast amounts of time and effort to just *figure out* your design, then they have to write their own implementation (which is not cheap). Meanwhile, you have improved your design to something better and already sold thousands or millions of copies, sucking up all the market share. Even if you share your design, people still have to create their implementation, which can take years.
 It can be produced en mass with near-zero cost.

Dead software is seen as unusable. So - no, to produce software you

 continuous maintenance and development which is as expensive as any
 other labor.

What I mean is, with a traditional machine, there is a cost to recreating the machine. Such manufacturing requires up-front investment that can possibly outweigh the cost of implementing the design. Patents protect the entity putting their product out there from having a larger company who can throw money around beat you using your idea.

The same is for software world. A program may require quite a large investment before it could be made usable. Let's consider D: who would get quality implementation first - Digital Mars or Microsoft? If DM doesn't patent D, it will sell *nothing*.

I think if Microsoft decided to implement D, Walter would be the first one jumping for joy :)
 Even if DM manages to get some market share, it won't survive  
 competition and eventually lose. IE lost its market share because there  
 was more effort put into Firefox than IE.

DMC is still being sold AFAIK. There is always a market for cheaper software, or a more agile software company. One might pay for DMD if one gets specific support. For example, if I wanted to buy a D compiler for ARM, would Microsoft be willing to implement it for a fee? Would they even respond to my request?
 Maintenance costs are not part of distribution, they are part of
 development.  Of course maintenance is required, but maintenance does  
 not
 hinder you from making a profit like manufacturing ramp-up does.

Needs for investments may be slightly different, but effectively there's no difference: software project needs continuous investment of resources or it dies.

But why is that? Shouldn't patents fix that "problem?" Because with a patent, you have essentially a monopoly. How can anyone compete with your poorly maintained software? The real answer is, patents *don't help* with maintenance costs. You can't lallygag around not innovating on your software because someone else will find a way to do the same thing without your patents. All software patents do is create a barrier to innovation, and act as weapons against other patent-holding firms. Note, Google agrees with me: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-07-26/internet/29815846_1_nortel-patents-software-patents-patent-suits
 However, working software can be written by one guy in his apartment in  
 a
 couple weeks.  He's not going to do patent searches when it costs him  
 just
 2 weeks time to create the software.  Here, the patent system is just
 getting in the way of innovation.  It's having the opposite effect by
 instilling fear in anyone writing software that some patent-holding
 company is going to squash him out of business.

I suppose trivial patents are also a problem for physical industry as the wheel patent shows.

The wheel patent is a test of a poorly designed patent system (as the article indicates). It is not representative of most patent systems. See this quote from your linked article: =========== Keogh, who is a freelance patent lawyer himself, says that he applied for the patent in order to test this new class of new patents. He says that innovation patents are not examined in detail by the Australian patent office. "The patent office would be required to issue a patent for everything," he told The Age newspaper. "All they're doing is putting a rubber stamp on it." =========== Note that this is not a trivial granted patent because of a flawed review process -- THERE IS NO REVIEW PROCESS, ALL PATENTS ARE GRANTED! This is not a fair comparison of well-established patent systems.
 When was the last time you did anything with a patented software
 technology except *avoid it like the plague*?

I would like to avoid H264 but unfortunately I can't.

Right, and if software patents did not exist, the web would have standardized on some other video codec, which would be freely available by now.
 http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn965-wheel-patented-in-australia.html

 I don't get your argument there, that Australia has a lousy patent
 system?  That Australian "innovation patents" are indefensible? How is
 this relevant?

They understand software as good as physical technologies.

Again, not a valid comparison. -STeve
Oct 26 2011
parent reply Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 You can profit from the fruits of your invention *without* patents.

If a bigger corporation doesn't steal your invention.
 Add that to the fact that software
 patents are *rarely* beneficial to the community.

Does the community want benefits at the expense of the inventor?

The *point* of patents is to benefit the community. The price society pays to the inventor is granting a monopoly. I'd argue that a 17-year monopoly on software technology and algorithms is too high a price to pay for knowing a "secret" you can't use until it's very obsolete.

Patented technology can be used under terms of GPL right now as example of x264 shows. With GPL patent holder can be sure he still can make money on commercial patent users.
 They are mostly used as
 weapons to stifle innovation from others.  In essence, software patents
 have had an *opposite* effect on the industry compared to something like
 building cars.

Let's look at the H264 technology. Would it exist in the first place if its creators had no chance to patent it?

What if is not a fair game. It's impossible for me to say because I did not invent it. But I believe most people who come up with ideas for software are not in it for the patents. Even in the company I worked for which got several software patents, they were an afterthought -- Software is invented to *solve a problem* which needs to be solved whether it can be patented or not. Did the inventors of H.264 do it for the patents? Maybe.

If it's impossible to say, then your opinion has the risk to be unfounded. If we eliminate patents, it will be impossible to say, whether things became better or not - who knows what inventions were not invented because their authors had no resources for it. I'm not sure h264 solved a problem. Video encoding worked just fine before it. It's just a better algorithm. The experts may be not for patents, but they are paid by big companies which are for profit.
 But I firmly believe if software wasn't patentable, we would have  
 equivalent video streams today (maybe even better than what we have),  
 because it *solves a problem*.

Equivalent - yes, but not today. The story of h264 became at 1998, it took years to complete it. It also took quite a while to get Theora right. Innovation in XviD were incremental and backward compatible with stock MPEG4 ASP decoder.
 This is a strawman -- GPL is not required by patent law to be licensed at  
 no cost for software patents.  The inventors of H.264 have chosen this  
 route, so good for them.  But it is not a benefit of GPL or a strike  
 against boost, it's just what they chose.

Can you make money with boost license?
 You cannot copyright a design.  You can copyright implementation.  And if  
 you don't make the design public, people have to spend vast amounts of  
 time and effort to just *figure out* your design, then they have to write  
 their own implementation (which is not cheap).  Meanwhile, you have  
 improved your design to something better and already sold thousands or  
 millions of copies, sucking up all the market share.

So open source is out of game?
 The same is for software world. A program may require quite a large  
 investment before it could be made usable. Let's consider D: who would  
 get quality implementation first - Digital Mars or Microsoft? If DM  
 doesn't patent D, it will sell *nothing*.

I think if Microsoft decided to implement D, Walter would be the first one jumping for joy :)

That's only because he doesn't sell D.
 Even if DM manages to get some market share, it won't survive  
 competition and eventually lose. IE lost its market share because there  
 was more effort put into Firefox than IE.

DMC is still being sold AFAIK. There is always a market for cheaper software, or a more agile software company. One might pay for DMD if one gets specific support. For example, if I wanted to buy a D compiler for ARM, would Microsoft be willing to implement it for a fee? Would they even respond to my request?

Windows 8 supports ARM for some reason.
 I suppose trivial patents are also a problem for physical industry as  
 the wheel patent shows.

The wheel patent is a test of a poorly designed patent system (as the article indicates). It is not representative of most patent systems. See this quote from your linked article: =========== Keogh, who is a freelance patent lawyer himself, says that he applied for the patent in order to test this new class of new patents. He says that innovation patents are not examined in detail by the Australian patent office. "The patent office would be required to issue a patent for everything," he told The Age newspaper. "All they're doing is putting a rubber stamp on it." =========== Note that this is not a trivial granted patent because of a flawed review process -- THERE IS NO REVIEW PROCESS, ALL PATENTS ARE GRANTED! This is not a fair comparison of well-established patent systems.

Do you call patent systems granting trivial (software) patents well-established?
 When was the last time you did anything with a patented software
 technology except *avoid it like the plague*?

I would like to avoid H264 but unfortunately I can't.

Right, and if software patents did not exist, the web would have standardized on some other video codec, which would be freely available by now.

I actually avoid h264 in the web :) Well, in fact I use firefox and avoid flash, which results in avoiding h264. Webm is enough for me in the web. I can't avoid H264 for "real" video.
Oct 27 2011
parent zouhair hawari <zmhawari hotmail.com> writes:
Kagamin Wrote:

 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:
 
 You can profit from the fruits of your invention *without* patents.

If a bigger corporation doesn't steal your invention.
 Add that to the fact that software
 patents are *rarely* beneficial to the community.

Does the community want benefits at the expense of the inventor?

The *point* of patents is to benefit the community. The price society pays to the inventor is granting a monopoly. I'd argue that a 17-year monopoly on software technology and algorithms is too high a price to pay for knowing a "secret" you can't use until it's very obsolete.

Patented technology can be used under terms of GPL right now as example of x264 shows. With GPL patent holder can be sure he still can make money on commercial patent users.
 They are mostly used as
 weapons to stifle innovation from others.  In essence, software patents
 have had an *opposite* effect on the industry compared to something like
 building cars.

Let's look at the H264 technology. Would it exist in the first place if its creators had no chance to patent it?

What if is not a fair game. It's impossible for me to say because I did not invent it. But I believe most people who come up with ideas for software are not in it for the patents. Even in the company I worked for which got several software patents, they were an afterthought -- Software is invented to *solve a problem* which needs to be solved whether it can be patented or not. Did the inventors of H.264 do it for the patents? Maybe.

If it's impossible to say, then your opinion has the risk to be unfounded. If we eliminate patents, it will be impossible to say, whether things became better or not - who knows what inventions were not invented because their authors had no resources for it. I'm not sure h264 solved a problem. Video encoding worked just fine before it. It's just a better algorithm. The experts may be not for patents, but they are paid by big companies which are for profit.
 But I firmly believe if software wasn't patentable, we would have  
 equivalent video streams today (maybe even better than what we have),  
 because it *solves a problem*.

Equivalent - yes, but not today. The story of h264 became at 1998, it took years to complete it. It also took quite a while to get Theora right. Innovation in XviD were incremental and backward compatible with stock MPEG4 ASP decoder.
 This is a strawman -- GPL is not required by patent law to be licensed at  
 no cost for software patents.  The inventors of H.264 have chosen this  
 route, so good for them.  But it is not a benefit of GPL or a strike  
 against boost, it's just what they chose.

Can you make money with boost license?
 You cannot copyright a design.  You can copyright implementation.  And if  
 you don't make the design public, people have to spend vast amounts of  
 time and effort to just *figure out* your design, then they have to write  
 their own implementation (which is not cheap).  Meanwhile, you have  
 improved your design to something better and already sold thousands or  
 millions of copies, sucking up all the market share.

So open source is out of game?
 The same is for software world. A program may require quite a large  
 investment before it could be made usable. Let's consider D: who would  
 get quality implementation first - Digital Mars or Microsoft? If DM  
 doesn't patent D, it will sell *nothing*.

I think if Microsoft decided to implement D, Walter would be the first one jumping for joy :)

That's only because he doesn't sell D.
 Even if DM manages to get some market share, it won't survive  
 competition and eventually lose. IE lost its market share because there  
 was more effort put into Firefox than IE.

DMC is still being sold AFAIK. There is always a market for cheaper software, or a more agile software company. One might pay for DMD if one gets specific support. For example, if I wanted to buy a D compiler for ARM, would Microsoft be willing to implement it for a fee? Would they even respond to my request?

Windows 8 supports ARM for some reason.
 I suppose trivial patents are also a problem for physical industry as  
 the wheel patent shows.

The wheel patent is a test of a poorly designed patent system (as the article indicates). It is not representative of most patent systems. See this quote from your linked article: =========== Keogh, who is a freelance patent lawyer himself, says that he applied for the patent in order to test this new class of new patents. He says that innovation patents are not examined in detail by the Australian patent office. "The patent office would be required to issue a patent for everything," he told The Age newspaper. "All they're doing is putting a rubber stamp on it." =========== Note that this is not a trivial granted patent because of a flawed review process -- THERE IS NO REVIEW PROCESS, ALL PATENTS ARE GRANTED! This is not a fair comparison of well-established patent systems.

Do you call patent systems granting trivial (software) patents well-established?
 When was the last time you did anything with a patented software
 technology except *avoid it like the plague*?

I would like to avoid H264 but unfortunately I can't.

Right, and if software patents did not exist, the web would have standardized on some other video codec, which would be freely available by now.

I actually avoid h264 in the web :) Well, in fact I use firefox and avoid flash, which results in avoiding h264. Webm is enough for me in the web. I can't avoid H264 for "real" video.

Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 16:55:34 -0400, Chante <udontspamme never.will.u>  
wrote:

 "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message
 news:op.v3ylgbgaeav7ka localhost.localdomain...
 On Tue, 25 Oct 2011 00:04:18 -0400, Chante <udontspamme never.will.u>
 wrote:

 "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message
 news:op.v3u2chz6eav7ka localhost.localdomain...
 On Mon, 24 Oct 2011 10:39:54 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Chante Wrote:

 While I haven't thought it through (and maybe don't have the
 knowledge  to
 do so), elimination of software patents was something I had in mind
 as a
 potential cure for the current state of affairs (not a cure for
 viral
 source code though). Of course, noting that first-to-file is now
 the
 thing, it appears (to me) that Big Software Corp and Big Government
 are
 on one side, humanity on the other.

Patents are seen to exist for humanity. Elimination of patents is equivalent to elimination of intellectual property. You're not going to succeed on that. But GPL3 at least protects you from patent claims from the author, so you'd better use it. You're afraid of others, but GPL can also protect *your* code.

Patents are to foster innovation. Software innovation needs no patent system to foster it. Nobody writes a piece of software because they were able to get a patent for it. I feel software patents are a completely different entity than material patents. For several reasons: 1. Software is already well-covered by copyright.

Software, though, is not like a book: it's not just text. There is inherent design, architecture, engineering represented by source code.

Books require design, sometimes elaborate design, and engineering of sorts. What an author puts into writing a book is not unlike what an entity puts into writing software.

With a book, the text is the end product. With software, the source code is an intermediate representation, or production machine rather than the end product. Source code is like a printing press for a specific book. It is not like the book. (These analogies are presented more for analysis, rather than in direct or opposing response).

compiled software is copyrighted, it's a derivative translation of the original source code. When speaking of copyrighted software, the binary code and the source used to build it are one and the same.
 2. With few exceptions, the lifetime of utility of a piece of
 software
 is  well below the lifetime of a patent (currently 17 years).
 3. It is a very slippery slope to go down.  Software is a purely
 *abstract* thing, it's not a machine.

Maybe literally "abstract", but those flow charts, layers, boxes-and-arrows actually become realized (rendered, if you will) by the source code. The text really isn't important. The "abstraction" is.

Software is not unlike math.

I disagree. While one can use software to perform math, that does not make software "like math".

Then the rest of this argument is moot, and I respectfully will end debate so as to not waste any more of our time. -Steve
Oct 26 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:45:45 -0400, Timon Gehr <timon.gehr gmx.ch> wrote:

 On 10/26/2011 11:38 PM, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 15:28:21 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 patents exist to give an *incentive* to give away trade secrets that
 would
 otherwise die with the inventor. The idea is, if you patent something,
 you enjoy a period of monopoly, where you can profit from the fruits  
 of
 your invention.

I think, this can work for software the same way.

You can profit from the fruits of your invention *without* patents. You can with machines as well, but software has the added bonus that copyright protects your IP. But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a machine than it is to reverse engineer how software is built.

If it is, for example, a remote web service, reverse engineering is difficult.

If you don't sell it, then there should be no point of patenting it. You have much better protection by keeping it secret... But today we have patents of these things, because they stifle innovation. It creates artificial barriers that only exist because people have gamed the system. -Steve
Oct 26 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:51:11 -0400, Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com>  
wrote:

 Am 26.10.2011 23:38, schrieb Steven Schveighoffer:
 But it's much harder to reverse engineer how someone built a machine
 than it is to reverse engineer how software is built.

Really? I guess it depends on the machine but I imagine it isn't so hard to dismantle a machine to find out how it works? (But I have no experience with that, it's just a guess) Reverse Engineering software can be pretty hard if the author made it deliberately hard, like Skype.

If you have no idea how a material is built, such as a new kind of glass, you have to guess. There are often few clues left behind of how to build a physical machine. This is not the same for software, which can always be disassembled. -Steve
Oct 26 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> writes:
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

On Wed, 2011-10-26 at 15:36 -0500, Chante wrote:
 "Timon Gehr" <timon.gehr gmx.ch> wrote in message=20
 news:j88jq8$1brb$1 digitalmars.com...
=20
[Free software] is software that respects the freedom of its end users.

Software is inanimate and non-human and cannot "respect" anything. The=

 mire of propaganda that spews from "entitled" GPL fanboys is astounding.

If you want to make a case against using the GPL for software let it be done with civil argument, not off-hand disparaging hate mail.=20 --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.n= et 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel russel.org.uk London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder
Oct 26 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> writes:
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

On Wed, 2011-10-26 at 15:30 -0500, Chante wrote:
 "Kagamin" <spam here.lot> wrote in message=20
 news:j892gn$2b5k$1 digitalmars.com...
 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 So you're saying the code you write as FOSS should cost something=20
 (i.e.
 you want something in return)?  Interesting...

It's just two paradigms: if you choose freedom, GPL ensures and=20 protects the freedom. You can also provide your efforts to=20 corporations - why not? - proprietary licenses and patents are=20 *adequate* means to do it.

Surely you meant "communism" rather than "freedom", otherwise the above=

 is non-sensical.=20

Surely "communism" is sharing without constraint. That means GPL is not "communist" whereas Boost is? --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.n= et 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel russel.org.uk London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder
Oct 26 2011
parent Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Russel Winder Wrote:

 Surely "communism" is sharing without constraint.  That means GPL is not
 "communist" whereas Boost is?

Restrictions is the very reason of boost existence. Boost wants "you are not allowed to edit wrong file" totalitarism to exist. It has no relation to communism or freedom.
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> writes:
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

On Mon, 2011-10-24 at 23:04 -0500, Chante wrote:
[ . . . ]
 Software, though, is not like a book: it's not just text. There is=20
 inherent design, architecture, engineering represented by source code.

I assume that you are joking here in order to stir debate. Anyone who thinks that a book, be it fiction and hence likely just a sequence of words, or non-fiction and this likely with figures and tables as well as text, does not have design, structure, architecture, etc. clearly has no conception of good authorship.=20 --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.n= et 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel russel.org.uk London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder
Oct 26 2011
parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
"Russel Winder" <russel russel.org.uk> wrote in message 
news:mailman.530.1319696613.24802.digitalmars-d puremagic.com...
On Mon, 2011-10-24 at 23:04 -0500, Chante wrote:
[ . . . ]
 Software, though, is not like a book: it's not just text. There is
 inherent design, architecture, engineering represented by source code.

 I assume that you are joking here in order to stir debate.  Anyone who
 thinks that a book, be it fiction and hence likely just a sequence of
 words, or non-fiction and this likely with figures and tables as well 
 as
 text, does not have design, structure, architecture, etc. clearly has 
 no
 conception of good authorship.

In a follow-up post, I wrote: "With a book, the text is the end product. With software, the source code is an intermediate representation, or production machine rather than the end product. Source code is like a printing press for a specific book. It is not like the book. (These analogies are presented more for analysis, rather than in direct or opposing response)." Source code is not the end product, and is not even necessary (in text form) to create the end product. A book, OTOH, IS the end product.
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> writes:
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

On Wed, 2011-10-26 at 17:50 -0400, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
[ . . . ]
 But today we have patents of these things, because they stifle =20
 innovation.  It creates artificial barriers that only exist because peopl=

 have gamed the system.

I assume you are based in the USA, since "we" here in the UK do not allow patents on software. It is currently explicitly stated as not being patentable in its own right. Software within machines can be covered by a patent for the machines, but software cannot be patented on its own. Sadly some big US corporate, the US government via the USTR, and a number of big international corporates are trying to foist US style software and business patents on the rest of the world via the tool of the ACTA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement). ACTA was originally a mechanism to protect brands from counterfeiters, but has over the years had other things inserted into it. In particular USTR have inserted clauses such that any country that signs up to ACTA must enact US style patents on software and business processes. For details on all this you could do worse that study Simon Phipps writings on this. His website (http://webmink.com/) gives an index to other materials documenting this for the world to know and yet somehow have absolutely no way of doing anything about. There is no conspiracy here, it is just the big corporates making sure the tools of creating monopolies and ensuring only they are in control of innovation are used to best legal effect. Of course it means anyone who writes software has to know about every software patent worldwide so as to ensure they do not violate. In case people didn't know: lack of knowledge of a patent is not a defence. Patents apply to you even if you didn't know about the patent. =20 --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.n= et 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel russel.org.uk London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder
Oct 26 2011
parent "Chante" <udontspamme never.will.u> writes:
Russel Winder wrote:

""we" here in the UK do not allow patents on software."

Good info. I would seem, then, that establishing a software company's 
home base in the UK is a better proposition that establishing one in the 
USA. Maybe. There's still the issue that a large amount of innovation is 
readily apparent upon release of a new software that copycats, especially 
ones with more funds and/or manpower, can cannibalize the inventor's 
work. And if one is locked-out of the USA market with the software, the 
UK might be worse than the USA for a software company.

Can software developed in the UK be sold in the USA if it renders 
something patented in the USA?

"It is currently explicitly stated as not
being patentable in its own right.  Software within machines can be
covered by a patent for the machines, but software cannot be patented on
its own."

So are companies taking advantage of that "loophole"? Does the machine 
have to be novel in a way other than by the novelty that its software 
affords it?

"Tere is no conspiracy here, it is just the big corporates making sure
the tools of creating monopolies and ensuring only they are in control
of innovation are used to best legal effect.  Of course it means anyone
who writes software has to know about every software patent worldwide so
as to ensure they do not violate.

In case people didn't know: lack of knowledge of a patent is not a
defence.  Patents apply to you even if you didn't know about the
patent."

The "unrecognition" or "blinding of one's eyes to" the fact that many, 
many inventions can and are independently developed, is troublesome, for 
sure. I wasn't going to bring up "crime against humanity" for this post, 
but then I read that last thing you wrote.
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Thu, 27 Oct 2011 02:39:29 -0400, Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk>  
wrote:

 On Wed, 2011-10-26 at 17:50 -0400, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 [ . . . ]
 But today we have patents of these things, because they stifle
 innovation.  It creates artificial barriers that only exist because  
 people
 have gamed the system.

I assume you are based in the USA, since "we" here in the UK do not allow patents on software. It is currently explicitly stated as not being patentable in its own right. Software within machines can be covered by a patent for the machines, but software cannot be patented on its own.

Yes, I'm talking about US patent system. I wish we had the UK system. And even if you are in the UK, you are affected by the US patent system because software you write that may be infringing on US patents cannot be sold in the US without being subject to lawsuit. -Steve
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 19:18:14 -0400, Chante <udontspamme never.will.u>  
wrote:

 "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message
 news:op.v3yn2di8eav7ka localhost.localdomain...

 3. It is a very slippery slope to go down.  Software is a purely
 *abstract* thing, it's not a machine.

Software is a machine: concrete thing doing concrete job. Patent doesn't protect the machine itself, it protects concrete design work put into it. Design is a high-profile work, a good design has a good chance to be more expensive than the actual implementation. So it's perfectly valid to claim ownership for a design work and charge fees for it.

And why wouldn't you be able to do this without patents?

One can: trade secrets. But a lot of times, techniques cannot be hidden away, for just releasing a product may divulge the "secret", so something more is needed: patent.

If you don't "divulge" the secret, then you don't sell anything. Note that the secret is already difficult to reproduce, no patents necessary, because it's not in source form, and one cannot simply duplicate the code, you have to rewrite it in your own code. Just knowing the secret isn't enough. Patents are needed because you cannot copyright machines. Copyright is actually a better protection, because it can be extended over 100 years past the lifetime of the author (I question the need for this time length too). People sell books, and have no problem doing so without patents, because a book is hard to reproduce. But one can always read a good book and use the same "design" (i.e. plot elements, sequence of story, etc.) to write their own book. And it doesn't necessarily hurt the original author.
 Again, copyright  already covers software.

While it's probably not enough or even the correct thing in the first place, is "software" copyrightable or source code, or both separately? It seems that copyright has appropriateness for software, but is useless as protection of the software designs as represented by source code.

Both are copyrightable. Source code is written words, binary code is a direct translation. If source code is equivalent to a book, then the binary code is equivalent to a translation to a different language of the same book. Both are covered under the original author's copyright.
  Plenty of software companies have large amounts  of IP and are
 successful without having any software patents.

Are you suggesting that there MUST be only ONE ("one and only") way? Great then, let's make it so there is only ONE software too. Problem solved, eh?

I'm not really sure what you are saying here...
 It can be produced en mass with near-zero cost.

Dead software is seen as unusable. So - no, to produce software you need continuous maintenance and development which is as expensive as any other labor.

What I mean is, with a traditional machine, there is a cost to recreating the machine. Such manufacturing requires up-front investment that can possibly outweigh the cost of implementing the design. Patents protect the entity putting their product out there from having a larger company who can throw money around beat you using your idea. In software, since the software is protected by copyright, the competition must build their own version of your software ideas first, and the distribution is relatively insignificant. In other words, once you release your idea to the world, it can be sold and installed for millions in a matter of days, giving you the lion share of the market.

Seems like incentive to get into Engineering, huh. Those who want to "win big" and expend no effort should stick to buying lottery tickets (and stop preying upon others). Keeping things away from the sleazy, grimey fingers of those who want to profit from someone else's labor or get something for nothing, is a good thing.

If nobody was able to use anyone else's ideas, where would we be today? You may misunderstand my point of view. I'm all *for* IP protection, just not *monopoly* protection where it is not needed. The US patent system as it exists today is not a good fit for protecting software. It does not achieve the goals that the patent system was created for. Have you heard of patent trolls? These are firms that write no software, yet they file for or acquire software patents in the hopes that some day someone will write covered software and they can collect royalties. How is that not "profiting from someone else's labor"? For example: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jul/22/angry-birds-maker-rovio-sued-by-lodsys
 4. Unlike a physical entity, it is very likely a simple individual,
 working on his own time with his own ideas, can create software that
 inadvertently violates a "patent" with low cost.

I don't see how this doesn't apply to physical machines.

When you are talking about patents for a machine or physical entity, there is a large investment and cost in just designing the item,

How many man years are in the average commercially offered software product?

And how many man years would it take for someone to reproduce it? Again, the patent system covered IP that was not copyrightable. Things that are copyrightable are hard to reproduce.
 or the means to  manufacture it.  It's less likely that a simple
 individual has the capital  necessary to create it, and if he does, or
 can raise it, a patent search  is usually done to avoid complications.
 He might also look at expired  patents to get ideas on how to do
 things.

 However, working software can be written by one guy in his apartment in
 a  couple weeks.

"The quick hack" is hardly "mainstream commercial software product"? Why bring up special cases? Why imply that a special case represents the whole realm?

Because it's the quick hacks that infringe on patents which are affected. Large companies who have libraries of patents don't care about violating other company patents, because there is mutually assured destruction. Essentially, the quick hack does well, it blossoms into a good piece of complex and useful software. The developer creates a company, hires developers, marketing, etc. Gets big enough, and then some competitor decides they are too big and sues to put them out of business. Not having any patents for software, the developer cannot counter-sue, and goes out of business.
  He's not going to do patent searches when it costs him just  2 weeks
 time to create the software.

Assumption may be made that because a patent pre-exists, that someone else cannot independently create the same thing, which of course is possible and likely. Ideally, all patents would be kept a secret so that those independently developed creations could have a life also, instead of just those of "the chosen ones". Not allowing software patents would seem to "level the playing field" for all and cut out useless administration tasks. Hmm, no it wouldn't: big money would feed off of the inventions of the little guy.

In fact, it's the exact opposite. Smaller software companies usually win because they are more agile and they charge less. If you really think Big Money would feed off the little guy, why do so many software giants oppose eliminating or lessening software patents? Do you think they are not as wise as you?
 That's where the consumer fits in though: don't buy from the
 undeserving, and identify them as the predators they are. That may be the
 key: render power/money-as-power, useless as a strategy.

I'll buy from whomever makes the best product. If you make a good product, you deserve to be paid for it. Problem is, monopolies usually don't make a good product, because lack of competition hinders advancement.
 Something to
 think about next time you buy from someone who has more than you, huh.

I don't fault people for being successful. There is no need to punish someone because you are jealous of their wealth, you have the same opportunities (at least in the US).
 Here, the patent system is just  getting in the way of innovation.

The patent system is justified in the name of "incentive", but are patents in reality, a crime against humanity? Patents should, perhaps, be to protect only what cannot be kept a secret. "Incentive" shouldn't even be part of the equation. "Incentive" is "prodding" at best, "imposition" at worst (where the "crime against humanity reference above came from).

No, you misunderstand the position. Patents are necessary to protect things that are not *already* protected by copyright. Copyright is much better protection when it is possible because it's very very difficult to duplicate a copyrighted work. Without patents, I feel innovation would not have been as rapid for most industries. Software is not one of them.
 It's having the opposite effect by  instilling fear in anyone writing
 software that some patent-holding  company is going to squash him out
 of business.

It does do that, yes.
 When was the last time you did anything with a patented software
 technology except *avoid it like the plague*?

Never looked at any, but how many do I know of inadvertently because they weren't kept a secret? Where are all the warning signs on information describing patented things? They should have warnings just like cigarettes (yet another cigarette analogy... Cigarettes and information about patented things: things that may be hazardous or dangerous).
 How to improve patent system is another question.


Can't be fixed and the only solution is to eliminate it?

Or limit them. Change the term to 2 years, and you will see a lot less issue. 17 years is about 8 generations in the software industry. Think of what software was like 17 years ago.
 GPL3 can actually play
 some role here: there's no mercantile reason to restrict use of a
 patented technology in a GPL3 software.

IMO, there's no reason to ever use any form of GPL anymore. It's work is done.

So now it's supposed to be credited with something and people should bow to it? What is that something? That communism doesn't work in practice?

It's accomplishment was to enforce open-source software in spite of the corporate negative view of open source software. Essentially, it said "if you want our services, you have to play nice." But now, we have much better open-source licenses, and a whole ecosystem built around open source. Businesses have been embracing open-source software, and understanding why it works, their minds have been changed. It's proven to work, and it's proven to work better in some cases than closed-source. But is it still necessary to keep the viral nature of GPL? An interesting article on this from Eric S. Raymond: http://www.osnews.com/story/21192/ESR_GPL_No_Longer_Needed -Steve
Oct 27 2011
parent Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 An interesting article on this from Eric S. Raymond:  
 http://www.osnews.com/story/21192/ESR_GPL_No_Longer_Needed

lol open source is a profit - bosses fear open source - bosses fear profit? Raymond knows how to make profit better than bosses (experts in profit making)?
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Thu, 27 Oct 2011 09:52:18 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 You can profit from the fruits of your invention *without* patents.

If a bigger corporation doesn't steal your invention.

Truth be told, patents don't even protect you against this. What happens when you sue the larger corporation: 1. They have better lawyers 2. They probably have a patent library they can throw at your other code. Software patents favor the big corporation, not the lowly developer. Consider that it costs about $10,000 just to *obtain* a patent these days, much less defend it.
 Add that to the fact that software
 patents are *rarely* beneficial to the community.

Does the community want benefits at the expense of the inventor?

The *point* of patents is to benefit the community. The price society pays to the inventor is granting a monopoly. I'd argue that a 17-year monopoly on software technology and algorithms is too high a price to pay for knowing a "secret" you can't use until it's very obsolete.

Patented technology can be used under terms of GPL right now as example of x264 shows. With GPL patent holder can be sure he still can make money on commercial patent users.

Again, this is a choice of the patent holders of x264, this does not universally apply to all software patents. The holders could have said "free to use in any open source software that is available at no charge". This would cover all open source licenses, even ones that can be shipped as binary-only. There is no inherent clause for GPL in the patent system. Stop using this argument, it proves nothing.
 They are mostly used as
 weapons to stifle innovation from others.  In essence, software  


 have had an *opposite* effect on the industry compared to something  


 building cars.

Let's look at the H264 technology. Would it exist in the first place

 its creators had no chance to patent it?

What if is not a fair game. It's impossible for me to say because I did not invent it. But I believe most people who come up with ideas for software are not in it for the patents. Even in the company I worked for which got several software patents, they were an afterthought -- Software is invented to *solve a problem* which needs to be solved whether it can be patented or not. Did the inventors of H.264 do it for the patents? Maybe.

If it's impossible to say, then your opinion has the risk to be unfounded. If we eliminate patents, it will be impossible to say, whether things became better or not - who knows what inventions were not invented because their authors had no resources for it.

It's impossible for you to say also. So is your opinion unfounded? In all likelyhood, a patentless, but trade-secret-enforced video standard would have emerged, done well, then an open source equivalent would have emerged. Both the H.264 owners and the community would be in competition to see who can make the better video stream, everybody wins.
 I'm not sure h264 solved a problem. Video encoding worked just fine  
 before it. It's just a better algorithm. The experts may be not for  
 patents, but they are paid by big companies which are for profit.

Better algorithms solve the problem of efficiency, implementability, and features. It's like saying DVDs didn't "solve a problem", because there was already Laserdisc. Big companies still have incentive to create a better codec for video, because it helps them sell videos.
 But I firmly believe if software wasn't patentable, we would have
 equivalent video streams today (maybe even better than what we have),
 because it *solves a problem*.

Equivalent - yes, but not today. The story of h264 became at 1998, it took years to complete it. It also took quite a while to get Theora right. Innovation in XviD were incremental and backward compatible with stock MPEG4 ASP decoder.

Are you sure the open source community would not have done a better job at fixing the codec? Or any other myriad of companies who currently do not hold that patent? As you loosen the grip on your IP, the benefit you see is that more people can help you improve your software -- open source development has shown that it works.
 This is a strawman -- GPL is not required by patent law to be licensed  
 at
 no cost for software patents.  The inventors of H.264 have chosen this
 route, so good for them.  But it is not a benefit of GPL or a strike
 against boost, it's just what they chose.

Can you make money with boost license?

Yes. You can make money with any license.
 You cannot copyright a design.  You can copyright implementation.  And  
 if
 you don't make the design public, people have to spend vast amounts of
 time and effort to just *figure out* your design, then they have to  
 write
 their own implementation (which is not cheap).  Meanwhile, you have
 improved your design to something better and already sold thousands or
 millions of copies, sucking up all the market share.

So open source is out of game?

huh?
 The same is for software world. A program may require quite a large
 investment before it could be made usable. Let's consider D: who would
 get quality implementation first - Digital Mars or Microsoft? If DM
 doesn't patent D, it will sell *nothing*.

I think if Microsoft decided to implement D, Walter would be the first one jumping for joy :)

That's only because he doesn't sell D.

You sure about that? I think Digital Mars would sell support contracts for D, and businesses would pay for those if they were to use the language in any real capacity.
 Even if DM manages to get some market share, it won't survive
 competition and eventually lose. IE lost its market share because  

 was more effort put into Firefox than IE.

DMC is still being sold AFAIK. There is always a market for cheaper software, or a more agile software company. One might pay for DMD if one gets specific support. For example, if I wanted to buy a D compiler for ARM, would Microsoft be willing to implement it for a fee? Would they even respond to my request?

Windows 8 supports ARM for some reason.

Then some other arch.
 I suppose trivial patents are also a problem for physical industry as
 the wheel patent shows.

The wheel patent is a test of a poorly designed patent system (as the article indicates). It is not representative of most patent systems. See this quote from your linked article: =========== Keogh, who is a freelance patent lawyer himself, says that he applied for the patent in order to test this new class of new patents. He says that innovation patents are not examined in detail by the Australian patent office. "The patent office would be required to issue a patent for everything," he told The Age newspaper. "All they're doing is putting a rubber stamp on it." =========== Note that this is not a trivial granted patent because of a flawed review process -- THERE IS NO REVIEW PROCESS, ALL PATENTS ARE GRANTED! This is not a fair comparison of well-established patent systems.

Do you call patent systems granting trivial (software) patents well-established?

Regardless of the quality of the review, at least there *is* a review. What I meant was, a review-less patent "rubber-stamping" system is not comparable to one which goes through a review process to weed out trivial patents.
 When was the last time you did anything with a patented software
 technology except *avoid it like the plague*?

I would like to avoid H264 but unfortunately I can't.

Right, and if software patents did not exist, the web would have standardized on some other video codec, which would be freely available by now.

I actually avoid h264 in the web :) Well, in fact I use firefox and avoid flash, which results in avoiding h264. Webm is enough for me in the web. I can't avoid H264 for "real" video.

I meant as a developer, not as a user. -Steve
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Thu, 27 Oct 2011 13:36:17 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 An interesting article on this from Eric S. Raymond:
 http://www.osnews.com/story/21192/ESR_GPL_No_Longer_Needed

lol open source is a profit - bosses fear open source - bosses fear profit? Raymond knows how to make profit better than bosses (experts in profit making)?

You make less sense every time you post... -Steve
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Thu, 27 Oct 2011 16:02:03 -0400, Chante <udontspamme never.will.u>  
wrote:

 "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote
 compiled software

(you meant, "source code")

OK, let's try this again. Source code is copyrightable. Compiled code *IS ALSO* copyrighted due to it being a direct translation of the source code that is copyrighted. Any way you take source code and make some other form of media-based data out of it is copyrighted. We can keep going around in this circle if you wish. This might help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_copyright
 is copyrighted, it's a derivative translation of the  original source
 code. When speaking of copyrighted software, the binary  code and the
 source used to build it are one and the same.

OK, but what if the "source code" is only graphical on the computer display, and the internal binary representation (not text) is then compiled? Obviously, the design of the software are the graphical diagrams on the computer screen for they are what the programmer understands.

Images are copyrightable as is all media-based data. -Steve
Oct 27 2011
prev sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Thu, 27 Oct 2011 16:09:52 -0400, Chante <udontspamme never.will.u>  
wrote:

 "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote in message
 news:op.v3zaemhyeav7ka localhost.localdomain...
 On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 15:28:21 -0400, Kagamin <spam here.lot> wrote:

 Steven Schveighoffer Wrote:

 patents exist to give an *incentive* to give away trade secrets that
 would
 otherwise die with the inventor.  The idea is, if you patent
 something,
 you enjoy a period of monopoly, where you can profit from the fruits
 of
 your invention.

I think, this can work for software the same way.

You can profit from the fruits of your invention *without* patents. You can with machines as well, but software has the added bonus that copyright protects your IP.

It does not? The engineered concepts are not protected by copyright, AFAIK, and THAT is what the IP is. THAT is what took all those years of R&D. So with copyright, someon can paraphrase the source code and then the inventor is SOL?

You think the "one click" design took years of R&D, and not the building of the amazon site? Again, "paraphrasing" is not so easy with software. Whether you are good or not, it takes a long time to write good software. You really think patents are the reason people don't copy large software projects? Think about DVD "encryption" that was used to protect DVDs from copying. Although it was a poor encryption and once cracked, was ridiculed for its simplicity and ease of circumvention, it still was very successful in preventing people from copying DVDs. It was a long time before someone actually cracked it. Is that because of patents? No, it was because the encryption was a trade secret, only handed out to those who could pay a hefty sum and promised not to use it to make copies or divulge it to any third party. Software is HARD to reverse engineer (even though it's definitely possible), and its HARD to replicate without direct copying. One has to go from binary code all the way back to the design/spec, and then go forward to a completely rewritten, tested, and well developed product. We are talking a huge investment of time and effort, all the time while the original author has since improved their product. Your statements appear to employ hand-waving to describe the tedious process of making a legal re-implementation of software. Yes, copyright protects your investment and your effort, more so than patents. Trade secrets actually are better than patents to protect you because you aren't forced to divulge it to the world. -Steve
Oct 27 2011